6 Easy Fall Car Care Tips

Summer is coming to a close, kids are back in school and families are starting to focus on getting things done other than blowing up pool floats. Fall is a busy time for all of us, but it’s also the perfect time to slowly start getting your vehicle ready for the winter, (yuck, the ‘w’ word), months ahead. Getting a head start in the fall means that you don’t have to scramble in once winter does hit and it may be too late.

The following are our Fall Car Care Tips to help get your vehicle ready for both fall AND winter. No need to have all these done at once. Spread the cost out over the fall so that by winter you’re safe and ready to drive! Here are our September Service Specials for Toyota  , Chrysler/Nissan , and Chevy Buick GMC.

Check your Tire Tread – you can visually check this yourself. The easiest way is to grab a penny and insert the penny into a tire groove on each one of the tires. Make sure that Abe Lincoln’s head is upside down and facing you. If you can see ALL of Abe’s head, it’s time to replace your tires. This isn’t a fool proof test though, depending on your tires, so if you have doubts, definitely bring your tires in to be checked by a service professional.
Check ALL your Lights – it will start getting darker sooner and you don’t want to be caught out driving at dusk with lights that don’t work. Grab a family member or friend and have them help you check to see that your brake lights, turn signals and high beams all work.
Check fluid levels – most vehicles will now alert you when you need to replace fluids or if there is a fluid leak, but if you have an older model vehicle, you will need to check for these manually yourself or have a service professional do an inspection.
Washer fluid – this is an easy issue to rectify yourself and washer fluid is inexpensive. But oftentimes people forget to refill this and then find themselves in a scary situation when “winter” weather creeps into fall months without warning.
Heating and Cooling – checking the HVAC system is something that is a little bit more difficult to do at home. Obviously, you can tell if your AC/Heat has completely stopped working, but if the system is on it’s way out, you may not notice right away until the temps drop drastically. But at a service center this is a quick test and they can tell you exactly how adequately yours is working.
Tire Pressure – air pressure in a tire decreases 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change. This is something that you will want to check a few times each season. And the nice thing is that putting air in your tires is free!

Not just to help ensure your safety this fall and winter, keeping your car properly tuned can improve your gas mileage by an average of 4%* – everybody likes saving on gas money!

*source: The Car Care Council

Spring Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

Now that winter is (FINALLY) behind us and spring has decided to make an appearance, it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning – for your vehicle! Winters can be harsh on your car, which makes spring the perfect time to do some good maintenance and a deep clean.

Check out our Spring Vehicle Maintenance Checklist below, and stop by for our no appointment necessary oil change or see our service specials and let Monken help you with your spring chores!

Schedule an Oil Change. A good rule of thumb is to get an oil change approximately every 5000 miles.  It’s an easy and inexpensive part of your vehicle maintenance and it really helps extend the efficiency and reliability of your vehicle.

A GOOD Car Wash – Inside and Out. More than just the aesthetic of having a clean car, giving your vehicle a good wash at the start of spring is a step toward maintaining the overall health of your car. Road salt left on the exterior for too long can deplete the color and corrode the metal. (And spring rain showers are not enough to rinse off all that winter grime). Don’t forget the wash the undercarriage as well – this is where a lot of the road salt tends to sit and cause problems.

Don’t forget about the interior. Most car washes offer free vacuums after you’ve paid for a wash, so take advantage of them! Winter tends to encourage a trash buildup in the doors, nooks and crannies of vehicles. Take 20 minutes after your car wash and vacuum out the entire inside.

Replace Wiper Blades. Winter can be very harsh on wiper blades and small tears and cracks can appear without you being able to see them. With the onslaught of spring showers, you want to make sure that your wiper blades are up to snuff.

Check Tire Pressure and Alignment. Your tires are literally the cushion between you and the road, so it’s especially important to take care of them. We recommend checking your tire pressure monthly. Most newer vehicles will send you an alert when one or more tires has fallen below the recommended level.

Check the tread for wear and tear. Roads can be very slippery during spring rain storms, so you want to make sure you’re able to stop without sliding. You’ll want to rotate and align them in the spring as well.

Change Air Filters. You may not be using that AC just yet, but before it becomes an absolute necessity, make sure that your air filters are unclogged and replace them if necessary.

Review Your Insurance Policy. This is one of the vehicle maintenance items that people always forget about. Oftentimes, your agent will proactively reach out to you every so often, but if they don’t, spring is a good time to be proactive about it yourself. Are you in the most efficient policy for your family? Will you be adding a new teen driver to your policy soon? Call your agent and find out if there are any deals or discounts that you can get as well.