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Fall Car Care Tips

Fall Is Approaching! How to Prepare Your Vehicle

by Dutch Silverstein September 1, 2021

Happy September to our A&M Auto Service family! It’s about that time in the year where the leaves begin to fall, and it seems as if the hot summers may be coming to an end. As North Carolina prepares itself for fall, it only means that colder weather and changes are approaching. The professionals at A&M Auto Service want to take this time as a friendly reminder to begin to prepare your vehicle and your loved ones for the colder months so you stay ahead of the game. Seasonal changes in our temperamental North Carolina weather can negatively impact your car in many ways, and there’s no time like the present to begin preparing. We present our top fall seasonal car tips!

Checking In On Fluid Levels

As the hot summer months have progressed, vital fluids have taken a beating. Now is the perfect time to check the condition of your vehicle’s fluid levels and replace those fluids that have reached the end of their useful service life. Fluids play a huge role in almost every aspect of your vehicle & maintaining them at the proper levels will help ensure that your car lasts longer. Let’s look at a few:

Engine oil – this oil helps keep everything lubricated as your engine spins thousands of times a minute. Checking your engine oil levels involves looking at the dipstick minimum and maximum indicated levels. The oil on the dipstick should be near the maximum. If it’s at or below the minimum, you’ll need to add more immediately. If you are uncertain about the location of the dipstick or how to check the oil quantity, take a moment to read your owner’s manual. It’s a virtual treasure trove of information that will help you to keep your vehicle for many years to come. Continued operation of an engine that is low on engine oil is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. A low reading could indicate your engine is leaking, which can cause damage if left untreated. Just as engine fluid is the life’s blood of your engine, so too transmission fluid is critical for the proper operation of your transmission. This fluid should also be checked regularly for condition and proper level.

Windshield washer fluids that need refilling to ensure the best visibility on the road. Engine coolant helps to regulate your engines’ temperature to prevent overheating and freezing when the temperature drops below freezing in the winter. Brake fluid is hygroscopic. That means that it absorbs moisture from the air. This moisture can lead to rust forming in the braking system preventing proper operation. All of these are essential to ensure your vehicle performs at its best capacity & all of these fluids can be checked by your trusted technicians at A&M Auto Service.

Tire Inspection

When was the last time you checked the air pressure in your tires? With temperatures beginning to drop in the next few weeks, this is a fundamental question to ask yourself. It’s known that for every 10-degree drop in temperature, your tires lose one psi of air. Comparing the temperatures from June/July to the upcoming autumn months temperatures, it’s a given that your tires that were inflated correctly during the summer could now be at risk of dropping. The air in your tires is filled with gas, which correlates with the outside temperatures. So unless you’re storing your car in a temperature-controlled garage, your tires will be deflating in the colder months. Take the fall season as a time to prepare your tires for the most challenging winter months. Make sure during your next service trip to make sure your tires get rotated!

One last thing to keep in mind is your tire tread. Tread is essential to help your tires grip the road and ensure your safety. If the tread is too low and weak, you risk hydroplaning in the rain. For a simple tire, tread check, grab a quarter! Insert the quarter into a tread groove with George Washington’s head face-up, and if you can see the top of his head, you know your tires are worn out, and a fresh pair is needed soon.

For more information about tires, check out our blog Tire Replacement: Should I Go For One Or All?

Check the Brakes

The brakes in your vehicle’s system are often the difference between life and death. If you neglect your brake pads, they become thin and worn down and won’t be able to thoroughly do their job of stopping your vehicle when you might need it most. If you’ve heard a high-pitched screeching sound when touching your brakes, it’s a clear indicator that you need to make an appointment with a trusted mechanic. Another sign is a growling sound. This loud metallic sound means that you have worn down the pads completely, most likely beyond replacement. Finally, a standard tip for your brake system is to get into the habit of inspecting your vehicle’s brakes every 10,000 miles.

Headlight Cleaning

Take a walk around the exterior of your vehicle. Check to make sure that all your headlights are clear and the bulbs put out plenty of light. Since we’re coming out of the hottest months, the polycarbonate material that makes up most headlights has become worn down and scratched due to flying debris and/or the UV rays of the sun. The outer layers of your headlights will deteriorate due to these factors. What’s the impact? Deterioration significantly impacts one’s visibility on the road & makes it more difficult for other drivers to detect you and your vehicle. Remember: See and Be Seen are extremely important.

Belts & Hoses Inspection

Belts in your vehicle are necessary to keep your car running properly. The belts control the operation of several components of your vehicle, such as the alternator, A/C compressor, power steering, and more! When these belts become worn down due to the hot weather they’ve just experienced, they may become damaged, frayed, or cracked. If left unaddressed, cracking belts can break and potentially leave you without electrical power, air conditioning, and power steering. In terms of checking your hoses, they are responsible for moving fluids around your vehicle (can you understand the importance?) Over time these hoses can wear and crack from corrosion, extreme heat, and extreme cold. This can cause a loss in efficiency or performance, especially if there is a leak. It’s essential to check these features the next time you are in a shop to ensure your safety and to save money in the future.

At A&M, you can count on our expert technicians to give you and your car the fall services you need at a competitive price you can afford, usually a fraction of what you will find at a dealership. Call us today for an appointment. From Charlotte, NC, to Pineville and beyond, you can trust A&M Auto Service for all of your auto service needs. Our entire team focuses on creating a top-notch customer service experience for you; we are here to serve. Schedule an appointment with us and have a qualified auto mechanic care for your vehicle; you will be glad that you did! A&M specializes in quality service and repair, so you can trust that your car is in the best of hands. For peace of mind, please schedule an appointment with us today; or call at 704-209-9860. We are located at 12715 Downs Cir Pineville, NC 28134, USA.

The entire team at A&M Auto Service thanks you; we look forward to seeing you soon!