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!

  1. 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 
  • Flares 
  • Pocketknife 
  • Bottled water (Alot)
  • Energy Bars 


    It's Summer time, the sun is shining and you wanna be on the go! Vacations, day-cations, stay-cations, whatever to hop in the car and take advantage of the time off work or school. But with the hustle and bustle of being on the go comes more gas to buy, and at the moment gas prices are getting pretty steep, especially if you're loading the kids into your SUV. Here are some quick tips to be gasoline conscious before hitting the open road.

  1. Coast to a nice stop, don't slam on the brakes!

  2. Below 55 mph, open your windows and turn the a/c off. At 60 mph or higher close the windows and leave a/c on to use less fuel.

  3. Monitor your tire pressure and keep it perfect all the time, especially before a longer trip.

  4. Plan all your errands in one day.

  5. Its strange, but Myth busters says taking right-turns uses less gas…