Car Maintenance for the Changing Seasons. The auto mechanic in the garage is checking the engine and oil for the car that is being serviced. Mechanic working in shop.
Ensuring your car’s maintenance is important all year around. However, it becomes even more essential when the seasons change and the condition of your car components and the road changes with them.
At PA Auto Inspection, our priority is the safety of you and your family on the road. To help keep your vehicle running smoothly with the changing season, we have come up with a list of maintenance tips for you.
Check the Tires
Tires are one of the most crucial parts of seasonal maintenance because they change as the seasons change. As the only part of your car that is in contact with the road, tire maintenance is crucial for your safety.
Whether you choose all-season tires for your car or like to rotate between summer and winter tires, you need to ensure that everything lines up well to ensure a smooth driving experience.
It is a good idea to roll on summer tires as the warmer season comes as they are designed with tougher and harder rubber compounds. These tires can withstand hot temperatures and can also offer excellent road grip, handling, and efficiency when driving.
During the cold season, you may consider winter tires, which are made of softer rubber and have a more aggressive pattern for better traction and non-skidding ability. Depending on how and where you drive, you might consider a range of tires like snow tires, studded tires, high-traction tires, and tire chains.
In addition, during the winter conditions, it is especially important that you keep your tires inflated as the cold can result in reduced air pressure in the tire. Your tires also need to be properly inflated if you want to drive them on snowy, icy, or slick roads.
Aside from the change of tires, there are other considerations that are important for tire maintenance. These include regular rotation and alignment. Over time, the treads on your tire will wear them, typically more on one side than the other, which can lead to misalignment, uneven driving, and difficulty in steering. By rotating your tires, you can ensure an even wear, extend the life of your tires, and make sure your vehicle runs smoothly.
Changing your oil and oil filter at the right intervals is one of the best ways to keep your engine up and running. You can find out when you should change the oil and oil filter in your car through your owner’s manual.
Summer and spring seasons can result in excessive dust and debris in your vehicle. Dusty roads, insects, mud, and other environmental factors can impact the health of your car more intensely than in the cooler seasons. Hence, this makes it an important time for an oil change.
Your oil gets dirty over time; however, in the summer season, the increased heat can also result in faster fluid depletion in your vehicle. If you do not change your oil about twice a year it can make it sticky and clumpy, and it will be unable to start your car.
Neglecting to change your oil engine can lead to higher fuel consumption, poor performance of the engine, and in the long run, severe damage to the engine, which is very expensive to repair or replace.
It is imperative that you keep an eye on your car’s other fluids regularly as well. Low or dirty vehicle fluid can lead to car breakdown, which can leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.
When temperatures begin to drop, it is important that you check the antifreeze mixture in the cooling system with the help of a hydrometer or test strips. Keep in mind that you only remove the cooling system’s cap when the engine is cool or it can lead to severe burns.
Typically, your cooling system should consist of 50% water and 50% antifreeze. An antifreeze blend that is too lean can cause your cooling system or engine to freeze, which may lead to damage to important parts like the engine block, which can be very expensive to repair.
Aside from the antifreeze, you should also check other fluid levels and quality, including the brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid. Many vehicles also have fluids that need to be checked beneath the car, like the differential fluid. If you have the knowledge, you can check these fluids yourself; otherwise, an auto service can do it for you.
The rain season can have a big impact on your car. During the rainy season, you may notice that your windshield wiper needs to be changed or that your hazard lights are not running properly.
There is also a risk that the moisture can seep into odd places in your car, creating a health hazard for you and your family. Steering wheels, seats, and gear knobs are very susceptible to mold formation so it is important that you regularly clean your car and keep it dry.
Proper air conditioning inside your car can help regulate the temperature and prevent mold and mildew growth. You should also ensure that your defogger is working perfectly and all the electrical components of your car are free from rainwater.
Externally, you should keep an eye on the body of your car, look for signs of rust formation, and make sure your coat of paint is intact.
Ice and snow can result in an increased risk of skidding so you need to make sure your brakes are in tip-top condition during the winter season. When the ice melts, it can add extra moisture to your brake fluid, which can lead to slow brake responsiveness and increased time for the vehicle to fully stop. However, you can prevent this by scheduling a check in with an auto repair service and getting the brake pads, drum, rotor, and caliper checked out.
If you have not changed your brake pads in a while, it is a good idea to do so now so that you have peace of mind that your car will come to a clean stop when you brake.
Brake maintenance is just as important during the summer season as well since hot roads and wet roads both require excellent braking power. In addition, the hot weather can further add stress to your braking system.
To ensure everything is right with your brakes, you need to get your pads inspected to check whether they can withstand the increased wear and dissipate heat well. Also get your drums and rotors checked to ensure they have the right thickness.
Heating and Air Conditioning
When the seasons change, you want to drive in a vehicle that can regulate the temperature the right way. So whether you are expecting a heatwave or a cold snap, the changing of the seasons is a good time to get your car’s heating and cooling systems inspected.
It can be very frustrating to hop into a car that has turned into a furnace and turn the air conditioning on, only to find warm air blowing on your face. It is also important to get your fans, heaters, and front and rear windshield defoggers checked in anticipation of the winter season.
Our mechanic can do a thorough visual inspection, check for any leaks or other issues in the vents, and make some tweaks to ensure your car remains comfortable in all seasons.
It can be easy to forget the maintenance of your battery, but if you don’t pay attention to it, you will never be able to start your car.
Summer is an excellent time to make sure your battery terminals are clean and rust-free. If you see some corrosion around the terminal posts or cable ends, it is best to remove them. You can also apply dielectric grease to the terminals to ensure it connects well with the cable and it does not corrode.
A strong battery is even more crucial in the winter season since the cold will slow down the chemical reaction in the battery. That is why it is important to check the battery and its terminal connections before the cold rolls in. If your battery is over two years old and performs poorly in moderately cold temperatures, you need to get it tested. To be completely safe, it is a good idea to replace the battery altogether.
Not sure which part of your car needs seasonal maintenance? A full tune-up is an excellent way to get peace of mind before the weather changes. Visit www.paautoinspection.com today or schedule a maintenance appointment with us by calling (215) 259-7500 today. See the difference in the performance of your car this season.