Car care tips to keep you safe on the road this autumn
As we head towards the winter months in Washington, increased rain and fewer daylight hours bring new safety concerns for drivers. We’ve compiled a list of basic maintenance and preparation you should consider to ensure that your fall driving is as safe as possible.
- Lights: Shorter days means more hours of darkness, and rainy weather decreases visibility. Clean and replace headlights, taillights, emergency flashers, blinkers, and parking lights as needed. You can even use toothpaste on a rag or toothbrush to unfog cloudy lenses for optimum brightness.
- Fluid levels: Check all fluid levels and top off. Change your oil, especially if you make only short daily trips. Refill your wiper fluid and don’t substitute with water – this hack may work in the summer, but in cold temperatures it will freeze and be anything but helpful!
- Wipers: Especially in Washington, a good set of windshield wipers is a safety priority. Replace worn, cracked, or streaking wipers for maximum visibility.
- Windshield: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure to seal any chips or replace a cracked windshield before cold temperatures cause damage to spread!
- HVAC: Having a functional heating, ventilation and cooling system is about more than just comfort. Be sure that your defroster works efficiently to keep your windshield clear in fall and winter weather.
- Emergency kit: Keep important items on hand in case of a breakdown or other emergency. Be sure to include gloves, boots, blankets, tire chains, snacks, water, and a flashlight.
- Tires: In rainy Northwest weather, good traction is essential. Check tire tread and replace if less than 2/32″ depth remains. If tread wear is uneven, have a mechanic check your car’s alignment. Also check regularly for proper inflation, as cold weather lowers tire pressure.
Safe driving and happy fall!