October is regarded as being the unofficial season of Autumn. It is also known for multitude of holidays and national observances. One of those, is "Fall Car Care Month."
It's the time of year auto experts caution car and truck owners to give their vehicles a little TLC due to colder weather on the horizon.
"The primary thing we really stress to people is to get a safety inspection," said Eric Carlson, owner of Ervine's Auto Repair and Grand Rapids Hybrid. "The primary thing we focus on are the tires. They are the number one item to keep your car or truck on the road.
Carlson says good and reliable tires are necessary to make sure you can safely stop, especially in inclement weather. According to renowned tire company, Goodyear, tire pressure will decrease one to two pounds per square inch (psi) for every 10 ºF drop in temperature.
Drivers are also advised to pay close attention to what's going on under the hood, especially with coolant and other fluids.
"Certainly we don't want any engine to ever freeze. It is going to get really cold. Most engines will go through the summer months with no problem, even with inadequate anti-freeze protection," said Carlson. "But, as soon as the winter and cold weather gets here, that is when you are going to see an issue if that has been neglected.
Carlson says other important things to have done include:
- Check the battery, to make sure it is in very good shape. Batteries have a lot more stress on them when the temperature drops.
- Replace windshield wipers, to make sure visibility isn't compromised.
- Check heating system, to make it is performing well enough to keep drivers comfortable and defrost windows.
- Check brakes, to make sure they are in safe working order.
- Check and replace, if needed, exterior and brake lights to make sure other drivers can see you and you can see where you are going.
Carlson cautions drivers not to procrastinate, especially with purchasing new tires.
"With the tires, for instance, the warehouse we get our tires from have already bought all of their winter tires. They purchased them last year. So, by the end of November, they are gone," he said. "It is important to get moving on that now and not wait until the first snowfall."
This advice can help prevent major inconveniences. It is also designed to keep people safely on the roads.
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