With the summer almost fully in the rearview, it’s time to start thinking about fall. While leaf peeping and enjoying the last gorgeous weather before winter is a priority, don’t forget about the vehicle that’s been so good to you. Fall and winter in Arkansas are often harsh and unpredictable, which can lead to accidents, salt damage, and other incidents that can hurt your car. But with some preparation and a few tips, you can weather out the storm.
Check Your Tires
With scorching summer temperatures and driving unfamiliar roads on vacation, summer can do a number on your tires. Not only can this lead to underinflation or overinflation, but it can also wear the treads and the walls of your tires. During fall, the weather isn’t so extreme, giving you a chance to check your tires before they get a winter workout.
To check your tires, you can employ the penny test, a visual inspection, or entrust a mechanic or tire professional. Because the weather can change rapidly in Arkansas during fall and winter, you might also want to consider switching from all-season or summer tires to winter tires to provide more grip.
If you don’t need tire replacement or you don’t want to switch to winter tires, remember to at least get a tire rotation, preferably each season or at least once every 6,000 miles. This ensures that your tires wear evenly, promoting durability and longevity while reducing the risk of a blowout.
Repair the Paint
If you have chips in the exterior paint of your car, fall is the last time to fix them before they become a significant problem. When there’s an opening in the paint, it leaves the metal frame of your vehicle open to autumn rains and winter weather. This can cause significant rust and corrosion that can spread quickly.
Thankfully, fixing the problem is easy. With a repair kit from your local automotive store, you can touch up any blemishes and seal them off from moisture, keeping your car’s body and paint in pristine condition.
Wax the Exterior
Road salt helps prevent ice and snow from gathering on roadways, but it also wreaks havoc on your vehicle’s exterior. To combat the potential damage from salt, grab a bottle of wax and go to town on your car. While you want to do the entire exterior, pay careful attention to the areas where salt can build up, including the quarter panels, grille, front fascia, and around the wheels.
Change the Wiper Blades
According to leading manufacturers, your windshield wiper blades should be replaced every six months to a year, depending on their quality and usage. Because the weather is more volatile in winter, spring, and summer, fall is the ideal time to check the blades for rips and tears. When you’re driving, you should also keep an eye and an ear out for your wiper blades streaking, squeaking, smearing, or chattering, as these are surefire signs it’s time for a replacement.
Through due diligence and following this checklist, your car will be ready for fall and winter while you eagerly await spring