There is a month for this!

“October is Fall Car Care Month, and the Car Care Council reminds motorists that checking their vehicles before the temperatures drop is a sensible way to avoid being stranded out in the cold and the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.”

Most drivers have not read their original auto owner’s manual nor can they find the copy buried in all the clutter of their glove box. Within your manual are mileage specific recommendations for your auto’s maintenance. As you know is a proponent for preventive maintenance as a method to reduce operational cost of your vehicle. Hidden in your auto owner’s manual are the instructions for a recommended maintenance schedule. But if you can’t find it don’t sweat it.

Fortunately there is an alternative has an online service that allows you to build a custom maintenance schedule for your automobile and if you have Abobe Air ® installed on your desktop computer you can download your own copy of their Car Care Guide 2014. You can also purchase your own copy to read before every road trip as a way to prepare your car and reduce unscheduled side of the highway stops. The Car Care Guide should be mandatory reading for everyone that does not have their original auto owner’s manual to read.

Each month the Car Care Council has a theme on their website. September was Emergency Preparedness and October is Fall Care with the following rock solid recommendations for preventive maintenance.

“Heating, Wipers & Lights

Consider winter wiper blades and use cold-weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.

Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly.

Check to see that all exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.

Tires & Brakes

Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure of all tires, including the spare. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads.

During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.

Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.

Gas, Oil & Filters

Keep your gas tank at least half full throughout the cold weather to prevent moisture from forming in gas lines and possibly freezing.

Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate.

Check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.

System Checks – Charging, Cooling & Exhaust

Have the battery and charging system checked, as cold weather is hard on batteries.

Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.

Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.”*

Whether it’s your owner manual or the excellent resources from learn about your car, the more you know the less it costs. Get your car ready to drive and the weather ahead.