The end of summer can be marked by many different events—the beginning of the school year, a briskness in the air, and sometimes, a mysterious clunking in your car or truck’s engine. While you may not be able to push back the start of school or hold on to the hot, humidity of summer, you can avoid the clunking as well as many other engine and car problems, if you practice some simple end-of-summer auto maintenance.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) suggests that your end-of-summer rituals should include checking your vehicle’s tires, windshield wipers and lights.
- Worn or uneven tire treads can be dangerous on slick winter roads and hot weather can stress your tires resulting in lost pressure, creating another driving hazard. A full inspection of your tires before the arrival of snow and ice is necessary.
- To prepare for unexpected snow flurries and end of summer rains, check your windshield wipers and replace cracked and ineffective wipers.
- The days will start getting shorter soon, and that means you may do more driving in the dark. Check your headlights, tail lights, indicators and brake lights and replace any that aren’t functional.
Checking and replacing your car’s fluids after the strain of summer heat is another important post-summer step.
- Check your oil to make sure it hasn’t been depleted. You may want to change the oil and air filters if you’ve reached the number of miles or timeline for a suggested tune-up.
- Look at the engine coolant. Summer is rough on an already hot engine; check your coolant and make sure you are still at appropriate levels.
- Check transmission and brake fluids and add more windshield wiper fluid if necessary.
It’s not just your engine and tires that need attention at the end of summer, however. The body of your car could use a little extra maintenance too.
- Wash your car to get rid of and sand left over from summer traveling.
- Wax your car to protect it from the salt that will hit the roads during the winter months.
As always, follow the guidelines established in your vehicle’s manual and keep up with the suggested maintenance routine no matter what time of year it happens to be. If you do get into a wreck this winter, be sure you have your Norfolk car insurance up to date or call us at (757) 583-1828 to discuss your options.