How to Prepare Your Car for Fall

The leaves are finally changing color and the hint of winter breeze has arrived. Nothing compares to the beauty and charm of the fall. With fall comes the opportunity to prepare for winter and cold weather in general.

Many people fail to take into consideration the prep required for an entire winter season, especially when it comes to one’s car.

Whether you live in an area that receives heavy snowfall or in a temperate zone, preparing a car for winter should be a top priority during fall. At Walker’s Renton, we want to help you keep your Mazdas reliable and durable. Here is our winter essential checklist for any automobile:

  1. Check The Battery

Always make sure that the car battery is in perfect condition. Low temperatures can reduce the battery’s power by up to 50 percent. Fall is an ideal time to either get the battery replaced or to have it checked by a mechanic. Make sure that there is no corrosion on posts and connections if there is get it removed professionally.

Keep a pair of jumper cables handy not just for yourself, but for other motorists in need.

Related: How to Open Mazda Key Fob and Change Battery

  1. Check The Brakes

With plenty of rainfall in store, don’t neglect the functionality of brakes during the autumn. Make sure that the brakes are in top working condition since fall roads are brutal even for brakes working normally. Cold temperatures don’t directly affect brakes, but they do make brake rotors and pads wear out faster. Keeping an eye on those is a good precaution to take for the cold and rainy season. 

  1. Use The Right Fluids

It's essential to use the right fluids for the fall.  A 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze is the best bet to prepare for winter if you live in an area that gets especially cold. Replace the water in the windshield washer reservoir with windshield washer fluid as water just won’t cut it during the fall as it tends to freeze.

  1. Replace Windshield Wiper Blades

Worn out and old windshield wiper blades aren’t of any use to clear away the rain. Keep a check on the heater and defroster as well to ensure there is proper visibility. Wiper blades are easy and cheap to replace and not worth the risk of dragging on old wiper blades.

  1. Check The Tire Pressure

Tires need to be properly inflated to get the best traction on potentially slippery roads. Air pressure tends to drop during colder weather and it is recommended to keep checking the air pressure regularly. To check the necessary air pressure, simply check under the hood and fill it up accordingly.

  1. Replace The Tires

If the tires are worn out or if it has been a while since they were last examined, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. You should examine the remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping. Also, check the tires for any cuts. Consider replacing the tires to either all-season tires or snow tires for maximum safety and comfort. One can also add chains on tires to ensure friction and proper functioning.

  1. Add A Coat Of Wax

Adding a coat of wax during the fall is a good way to ensure that the car is protected from any gravel on the road. Wet gravel during the rainy season causes corrosion and extensive damage to the vehicle, so it is a good precautionary measure to apply a coat of wax during the fall.

  1.  Keep A Winter Supply Box

Having a winter supply box is an important precautionary measure to follow during the winter. Traveling during the winter day whether to work or on a road trip, it is important to keep a winter emergency kit. It can include but not limited to jumper cables, a flashlight, road flares, a first-aid kit, a few blankets, warm clothes, extra pairs of gloves, a radio, a charged cellphone for 911 calls, a bag of sand and an extra ice scraper.

  1. Inspect All Lights

Visual inspection of all lights and bulbs is important for cloudy weather. Replace any burned out bulbs and clean the grime off of lenses. If the lenses are clouded, get them cleaned professionally. Fully functional headlight and tail-lights are useful when driving through heavy fog.

  1. Change The Oil 

Most people tend to procrastinate changing their oil, but autumn is the right time to do so. The oil viscosity and oil thickness differ during the fall. Oil thickens during cold temperature so it is necessary to use thinner oil during the fall to ensure that there is proper lubrication. Make sure to use a cold weather-grade oil for the same reason.

  1. Replace Filters

Replace air, fuel, and PCV filters during fall or check their condition to ensure that the engine is running at maximum capabilities. If these filters are dirty, the car burns more gasoline and it affects the overall performance of the automobile.

  1. Check Engine Coolant 

Without antifreeze and adequate coolant levels, an automobile can be seriously damaged. Antifreeze is responsible for keeping the engine from freezing during harsh temperatures. Without it, one can be left stranded during winter and that is not a pleasant situation.

Related: How to Set Up Apple CarPlay in Your New Mazda

  1. Check Belts And Hoses

Mazda CX-5

Cold temperature isn’t kind on belts and hoses of automobiles. The wear and tear are faster during the winter season and hence they should be checked often, especially when a full-service is being done on a vehicle. 

In Conclusion

Fall can be a rough time for people and automobiles alike. Taking the necessary steps will make the harsh season easier on the vehicle, and for the person driving it. Following this checklist will help steer away from avoidable critical situations and unnecessary costs.

As always, prevention is always better than a cure. If you need tire replacement, light inspection, or other car services, check out our service menu at Renton Mazda so that you’re prepared for the rainy fall season.

Related: Are Mazdas Reliable? Find Out

Categories: Service