October is Officially Car Care Month: 6 Tips for Better Car Care
October is that sweet spot right after the long Summer vacations and right before the holiday madness hits. All your extra cash will be going to large dinners, holiday getaways, and of course gifts for loved ones.
The holidays has to be the worst time to be hit with an unnecessary automotive expense, namely due to lack of easy maintenance. Fall is also right before the winter temps drop way down, which can affect the way your car drives and performs, so Voilà October is deemed Car Care Month, although really one should check these items off for all the Winter months.
Most of these items are fairly inexpensive, certainly cheaper than a huge break down on the freeway, or worse, an emergency situation.
If you choose to take your car to a shop or have the experience to take care if it at home, Santa Ana Wheel recommends completing this list to avoid potential accidents and pricey emergencies!
- Fully Charged Battery: We suggest going to a trained technician to check the battery, as a wrong voltmeter reading could mean the difference of a healthy battery and a dying one. (A good reading is between 12.4-12.7 volts, anything lower requires a recharge). Testing the battery is one of the most vital items to check off the list, don’t ignore it! A dead battery in middle of the cold is not fun or affordable.
2. Brakes: A brake check should really be done at least once a season (but let’s be honest we’ll do it once a year if we remember) but if you’re going to invest in auto maintenance on one thing, this is it, especially if you live in a cold weather area. (Midwesterners I’m talking to you) A brake system such as the linings, rotors, and drums all should be inspected before driving on icy roads.
3. Tires: Here in sunny California the investment on snow tires aren’t needed, but your tires certainly shouldn’t be close to bald during the rainy season. You can measure the air pressure and tread depth of your tires with a few simple tools, or take your car into a shop and spring for a tire rotation if you can’t invest into a whole new set. Either way, it’s a great investment on safety.
4. Heaters, Defrosters, and Wiper Blades: These items are essential to be in top shape during the cold months, regardless If you live in a dry area. Wiper blades should be replaced if the blade leaves any smudges or streaks when swiping. If you live in a snowy region, snow wipers which prevent snow from building up are an option for extra safety.
5. Light me up: Check all headlights, turn signals, hazards, etc. to make sure they are in excellent working condition.
6. My mother always warned me to carry an emergency road kit in my car at all, times, with how much time we spend in the car, I’m surprised this isn’t a DMV requirement! No one wants to think about an emergency like this happening, but you will be so relieved when you’re the prepared one. Here are some basic suggestions to put together your own:
Basic Emergency Road Kit:
- First aid kit (Non-expired)
- Jumper cables (Every car should have these regardless)
- A blanket
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Bottled water (Alot)
- Energy Bars