7 end-of-summer car care tips in time for fall car care month (part 2)
Helpful tips from Don's Pro Tech Automotive
November 25, 2023
In this issue we will continue the discussion begun in The Loop newspaper's Oct. 28 issue describing 7 end-of-summer car care tips.
Check the battery
Summer is an easy time for the car battery, but cold weather can tax it. Don't get caught by the first cold morning with a dead battery. First, look for corrosion on the battery terminals. This needs to be cleaned or repaired to eliminate resistance between the battery and the rest of the electrical system, such as the starter and blower. Then, have the battery load-tested - replace it if it's too weak for a cold start. Also check the battery age to see if it is nearing the end of its service life. A typical battery lasts 3-5 years so be prepared for a replacement if yours is older.
Don't forget the air conditioning
The air conditioning system is essential for defogging your windshield and front windows. It not only cools air during the summer, it also works as dehumidifier. Functional or not, have its performance checked by your local NAPA Auto Care location to ensure year-long operation. Even when the weather turns pleasantly cool make sure to run your air conditioning once a week to keep it in good shape. Running the air conditioner helps keep components lubricated while also keeping the seals fresh and less likely to leak.
Check fluids and inspect belts
Check and adjust all fluid levels, including engine oil, engine coolant, power-steering fluid and transmission fluid. Check and adjust V-belts and serpentine belts and replace if needed. Keep in mind that modern serpentine belts can still look fine due to advances in materials, which means they don't crack as much as old belts. These modern belts actually wear down like a tire and lose their ability to grip pulleys effectively. If the belt is not fully contacting the grooves of the pulleys, it needs to be changed.
Check the cooling system
Besides checking for coolant leaks, pay special attention to the pressure cap and the thermostat. True, you can't see the thermostat, but you can watch the temperature gauge or the OBDII ECT (engine coolant temperature) reading. Whether it's hot or cold outside, the ECT should steadily rise to the thermostat opening temperature, usually 175–200 degrees F. If the ECT can't reach stable temperature, then it could indicate a broken thermostat. Check your owner's manual for information about how often you should flush the cooling system and get it done if it is due.
As most weekend warriors will tell you, abrasions, grime and dirt just aren't fun, and dirty, grimy abrasions are the absolute worst. Work gloves keep cuts, abrasions, heat and dirt at bay, so don't forget to grab a pair. The spandex and elastic back and cuff are comfortable, while the Clarino palms and fingers let you handle the toughest jobs without affecting dexterity.
With these end-of-summer car care tips, your car will be ready for everything winter has to throw at it - just don't put on the snow tires quite yet.
For more information on diagnostic procedures, feel free to chat with one of Don's Pro Technology's knowledgeable service advisors or technicians with any concerns you may have. Don's Pro Technology Auto Repair is located at 230 E. Tehachapi Blvd., in Tehachapi and can be reached at (661) 822-1600.