Summer Road Trip Recovery: Essential Fall Maintenance for Your Vehicle

Summer Road Trip Recovery: Essential Fall Maintenance for Your Vehicle
| By: Christian Brothers Automotive

Maintaining Your Vehicle for Fall After a Summer of Road Trips

Astudy conducted by AAA found that Americans drive the most during the summer, with daily mileage throughout the year peaking during this season. Summer trips to the beach, camping in the mountains, and visiting family are all great, fun things, but they can sure take a toll on your vehicle!

As temperatures drop, the leaves change colors, and the days get shorter, it’s time to start thinking about giving your car the attention it needs for the Fall season. Whether you drove a lot or not during the summer, there are some essential vehicle maintenance tips to follow for optimal performance and safety this fall.

We’ve created a checklist for you to make it as easy as pecan pie (regardless of how you pronounce pecan)!

5 Items for Your Fall Car Maintenance Checklist

As lovers of all things fall and auto maintenance, the expert technicians at Christian Brothers Automotive are here to help! Here are some general car care tips to remember as you get home from summer travel and nestle into Fall:

1. Check & Clean Your Interior

Unfortunately, this isn't something we can help you with, but something that can't be overlooked. Summer road trips can leave your car cluttered with items such as camping gear, beach toys, and sand – so much sand!

Take the time to clean out all the dirt, dust, and debris that has accumulated in your car. A trip to your local car wash to start your Fall car maintenance off right is always a good idea.

2. Check & Replace Fluids

Summer heat can take a toll on your vehicle's fluid levels. High temperatures can cause fluids to evaporate, decreasing their levels, while long driver can speed up the contamination process.

The following fluids should be checked once the fall season arrives:

  • Engine Oil – Located in the front of your vehicle, just beneath the engine.

  • Coolant – Can be found in the coolant reservoir, typically found on the side of the radiator.

Regularly inspect these essential fluids for their color, texture, and level. If any of the levels are significantly lower than usual, the fluids appear murky, or have a burnt smell, then it's time to bring your vehicle in for maintenance.

3. Check Your Tires

Chances are, you've accumulated quite a few miles on your tires from those summer road trips. To ensure your tires are in good condition for the rest of the year, consider:

  • Check Tread Depth – Maintaining a grip on wet roads is crucial. Use a penny upside down to checktread depth; if you can see Lincoln's head, it's time for new tires.

  • Check Tire Pressure – Air pressure can fluctuate with temperature changes.Regularly check and adjust as needed.

  • Look for Damage – Check for cuts, punctures, or bulges. These can cause dangerous blowouts while driving.

  • Winter Tires – Switch to winter tires in severe winter conditions for better traction, handling, and braking. Definitely consider this in Minnesota, but it’s not likely you’ll ever need this in Florida. Ask our friendly technicians for what is best for your weather.

Your tires are the main contact point between your car and the road. Keeping them in good condition is essential for safety, performance, and fuel economy.

4. Check Your Battery

Heat can be a battery's worst enemy, leading to premature battery death. The scorching summer heat can cause the fluid to evaporate from the battery, damaging the internal structure. Therefore, it's wise to keep an eye out for any signs of battery issues, such as:

  • Slow engine crank

  • Swollen battery case

  • Loss of power

  • Battery warning light on the dashboard

Don't overlook the importance of this essential car component! Your vehicle's battery powers all its electrical systems, and it's responsible for starting your car in the first place. A failing battery is not a problem you want to deal with on a chilly fall evening.

5. Check Your Heating System

As the weather gets cooler, you'll likely start turning up the heat in your vehicle. But have you tested your car's heating system yet? It's a good idea to turn on the heater even before it gets cold to see if it's in good working condition. A simple routine can help you keep an eye on this year round. For example, every first day of every month, turn on your heater to confirm it is in working condition, and the same can work for your AC during the cold months.

Over the summer, when the heater goes unused, a variety of issues can occur. The coolant might leak, the heater core could get clogged, or the blower motor might fail – all of which could leave you without a heater when you need it most.

If you turn on the heat and it blows cold air, or it doesn't blow any air at all, it's time to get it checked out. But don't worry – these are issues that can easily be repaired!

Embrace Fall with Christian Brothers Automotive

With fall comes cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and, of course, pumpkin spice lattes! As we transition into a new season, don't forget about your vehicle maintenance needs.

Christian Brothers Automotive is here to help with your car care needs. Our expert technicians are trained in the latest technology and automotive trends. In fact, while most of us go to school once and graduate, automotive technicians are students for life, because automotive technology is always changing and improving. Our expert technicians never stop learning, so you can trust that your vehicle will be taken care of properly.

Plus, we'll leave behind the confusing mechanical terms and provide a straightforward explanation of your vehicle's condition. Don’t worry if you don’t know what things mean. We'll make sure you understand the services or repairs we are recommending, the reason we are recommending them, and the benefits of completing them. We want you to feel comfortable moving forward and happy with the results. We aren’t just fixing cars. We are Driving Joy.

Don't put off those fall maintenance needs any longer – find your closest Christian Brothers Automotive location and schedule a service appointment today. Car repair may not be fun, but we want your time with us to be great! See you soon.
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