Let’s face it… not everyone is very good at maintaining their vehicles through the year and over periods of years. While you’re definitely not alone in this, the reality is that this strategy is going to catch up with you. At Summit Towing our job is to help folks using this strategy whenever they need us! And we’re happy to do it.
The fact is that you can sometimes avoid meeting our friendly and professional tow truck drivers altogether by just doing a little routine maintenance now and again. Today we’re going to give you our maintenance tips for fall.
Fall Maintenance Tips – Part 1
Oil – Change your oil and oil filter at the intervals recommended by your car’s manufacturer. Many newer vehicles have in-car oil life monitoring systems that alert the driver when an oil change is due. If you use your vehicle for frequent short trips, heavy hauling or trailer towing, more frequent oil changes will be called for.
Engine Performance – Replace other filters (air, fuel, cabin PCV, etc.) as recommended – more frequently in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected as soon as possible at a reputable repair shop. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters-air, fuel, etc.
Cooling System – The most common cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be flushed and refilled with factory approved coolant at the interval specified by the vehicle manufacturer (a 50/50 mix of coolant and water is usually recommended). The coolant level, condition, and antifreeze concentration should be checked at every oil change. Remember – never remove the radiator cap until the engine has cooled! Also, don’t forget to check the condition of accessory drive belts and coolant hoses/clamps – or have a professional do it.
Windshield Wipers – A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn wiper blades and make sure you have plenty of windshield washer solvent on hand. Washer fluid formulated for winter use has special anti-freeze properties. If your climate is harsh, purchase beam-type or rubber-clad wiper blades that help prevent ice build-up. And, don’t forget to carry an ice-scraper and snow brush.
Heater/Defroster – The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Newer models have a cabin air filter that should be checked and replaced as needed. Check your owner’s manual for the location and replacement interval.