Your Car Service Checklist For This Autumn
With winter months just around the corner, Autumn is the ideal time to prepare your car for bad weather. A thorough home service can identify minor problems before they become major. And these essential checks will ensure your vehicle is safe to drive. You’ll save money in the long run as you improve the lifespan of your car. And you’ll avoid breaking down mid-journey. Here’s your car service checklist for this autumn…
How to check brake fluid is straightforward. Open the brake fluid reservoir and check the fluid levels with the minimum and maximum markers. You’ll need to do this quickly as the fluid absorbs air moisture which can cause brake performance issues. Carefully clean the exterior of the reservoir. This’ll stop dirt and debris from getting into the brake lines.
Look at how to check the oil in your car: open the bonnet and locate the dipstick. Remove the stick, wipe it clean, and put it back in. Take it out again and check to make sure the oil is between the minimum and maximum lines. How much oil does my car take? Between five and eight quarts depending on the size of the engine.
Changing oil greatly reduces the wear and tear on the engine so look out for signs that this needs to be done. Low oil readings, a roughly running engine, and black oil all indicate its time for an oil change.
Anti-freeze and coolants should be regularly checked to ensure levels in the reservoir are topped up. There are minimum and maximum markers to guide you on the correct quantities.
Automatic cars will need to have the transmission fluid levels checked. You’ll have to turn on the ignition and warm up the engine to do this. While the engine is running take out the transmission fluid dipstick and wipe it clean before putting it back. Leave for about five seconds and then remove the stick and check the level. Top up to the fill mark as necessary.
Tyre pressures can increase slightly during warmer months so you may need to lower them slightly to get the optimum pressure. The right pressure will prevent slipping and sliding when driving in wet conditions. Use the guide in the manufacturers manual to get the right pressures for your car.
Tyre condition is also really important. You’ll need to check the depth of the tread – the legal limit is 1.6mm across the central tread around the circumference of the tyre. A new car tyre starts off with about 8mm of tread and the recommended change is when the tread reaches 2mm.
Damage to the sidewalls can have an impact on the strength of the tyre so just make sure every tyre is roadworthy. A visit to a tyre specialist will give you peace of mind.
Batteries that are three years and older tend to fail more often in extreme weather conditions. Look for tell-tale signs of corrosion and loose connections. Have your battery checked out by a mechanic, and carry jump leads with you in case of emergencies.
Wiper blades need to be checked to make sure they work properly as the rubber can wear over time. Replace the wipers when the rubber gets low to ensure complete visibility at all times.
Check headlights, brake lights, parking lights, and hazard warning lights. If any lights don’t work simply replace the bulbs. Clean all lights regularly.
Change the air filter as dust and dirt in here can reduce airflow and engine performance. Replacing the filter is a simple operation and only takes about half an hour.
Be prepared to avoid needing roadside assistance!