As summer comes to a close, many of us breathe a sigh of relief as the heat and humidity changes to a cooler, more comfortable weather. This change in season is the perfect opportunity to perform some simple, do-it-yourself car care tasks. While many car maintenance procedures require help from a qualified mechanic, these can be done at your home with common tools and just a little know-how. Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable doing some of these on your own, we’re always here to help!
Check Your Tire Pressure
Every change of season should be a reminder to check the air pressure in your tires. As the temperature fluctuates up and down, so does the air pressure in your tires. During cooler weather, the pressure in your tires will decrease, which increases rolling resistance and results in reduced fuel economy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, fuel mileage can decrease as much as 3% from under-inflation. Incorrect air pressure can also lead to accelerated wear to your tires. When checking the air pressure, refer to the sticker inside the driver side door jam to see what the recommended psi is for your vehicle. This is also the perfect time to check your spare to ensure it’s also within spec.
Change Your Wiper Blades
An inexpensive and often overlooked vehicle maintenance are the wiper blades. During the dry, summer months they aren’t used much so it’s easy to forget how well they do or don’t work. Fall is a great time to replace your blades so that they’re ready for autumn and winter driving season when we typically see a lot more rainy weather. To check the condition of your blades inspect them by lifting them up from the windshield and look for cracks or tears in the rubber. You should also run your finger along the blade to feel for if the rubber has become rigid or brittle feeling. Any of these symptoms would be an indication that they’re due for replacement. Lastly, be sure to also top off your washer fluid level while you’re at it.
Replace Your Filters
Dry, dusty Oregon summers can really wreak havoc on your vehicle’s air filters – both engine and cabin. Clogged engine air filters can reduce horsepower and increase emissions. Dirty cabin air filters result in a poorer air quality inside your car or truck. Fortunately, both filters types are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. When shopping for an engine air filter, it’s best to stick to quality, paper filters. These are proven to perform well in all conditions and are usually the most affordable. While aftermarket cotton-gauze filters are popular, they require specialized cleaning solutions and conditioning oils to properly filter dust and debris before it enters your engine. When it comes to cabin air filters, look for a filter with activated carbon. This enhances the filter’s ability to capture harmful pollutants and improves the quality of air being pumped into your vehicle. While they cost a little bit more than a standard filter, we think it’s money well spent.
Well, there you have it – three easy DIY car care tasks that anyone can perform. However, if you’re more comfortable having a professional do the job, feel free to swing by and let us take care of it for you.