The weather is starting to cool down from the summer heat, which means your chance of encountering hail storms, cold spells, and snow increases. If you’re not careful, your car can take a beating from these changes in the weather, especially if they come on suddenly.
That’s why it’s important to do some essential car care in early fall. In this article, you’ll learn six things you should check on your car before the winter weather hits. You’ll also learn about the possible damages that can occur during the fall season, and how to protect your vehicle from them.
#1. Always Check Your Headlights, Windows, and Windshields
The first thing you should do is check your headlights, windows, and windshields. Make sure that all of your lights are working properly, and that none of them are cracked or broken.
If they are broken, you want to take them in for repairs immediately. You don’t want to be caught in a storm without being able to see clearly or protect yourself from the elements, and weakened glass will often shatter all the way when impacted by hail.
#2. Inspect Your Windshield Wipers
In order to avoid getting caught in a storm without being able to safely drive, you may want to inspect your windshield wipers. Make sure that they are in good condition and that they aren’t cracked or torn. If they are, replace them as soon as possible.
You also want to make sure that your windshield wipers are the correct size for your windshield. The wrong size can cause them to tear more easily and leave streaks on your windshield.
#3. Check Your Battery
Did you know that sudden changes to a cooler temperature can stress and even kill your battery?
In order to avoid a sudden battery breakdown, make sure that your battery is holding a charge and that there isn’t any corrosion on the terminals. If there is, you can clean it off with a wire brush or take it in to get serviced.
You can also protect it by charging it fully or parking your car in a garage or other warmer spot.
#4. Check Your Car Brakes
Storms and ice create slick, dangerous roads, which means it’s more important than ever for your car brakes to be in working order.
Have your brakes checked and serviced by a professional to ensure that they are working properly and replace any parts you need to.
Snow and ice can cause rust build up in your brakes, which can accelerate the deterioration of your rotors and brake pads. So if your brakes are teetering on the edge of working properly, winter can cause them to fail.
#5. Maintain the Quality of Your Tires
Just like your brakes, your tires are incredibly important for handling wet, icy, and slippery roads.
If your tires are balding or don’t have enough tread, replace them before winter hits. This is especially important because snow and salted roads can increase how fast your tires wear down. You may even want to opt for installing special winter tires — although that’s better left down later in the fall.
You also want to make sure that your tires are inflated to the proper PSI. If they’re not, they can cause your car to handle poorly and make it more difficult to brake.
#6. Pay Attention to Storm Weather Alerts
The best way to keep your car in good condition is to avoid bad weather altogether. Keep an eye on the news and weather forecasts in order to be aware of when storms are expected.
If a storm is coming, make sure you leave your car in a protected area like a garage or carport, and try to avoid driving until the storm passes. If you don’t, you may risk broken glass, dents, and other issues that require hail damage car repair services.
If your car has already been damaged and you want an idea of how much hail repair costs, try this hail damage car repair cost calculator.