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Fall is definitely here. The cooler temps are proof of that. I love fall days where the temps are cooler yet it’s still nice outside. The leaves changing to beautiful colors are one reason I adore fall. It’s beautiful to watch. I do not, however, enjoy what’s coming next: winter. Winters here in Michigan are harsh and I do not enjoy the frigid temps and driving in snow and ice. With the change of each season we make sure to do some DIY car maintenance to ensure our cars are ready and we can rely on them no matter what. My husband, thankfully, is great at caring for our cars so I thought I’d share some DIY care care tips so that you, too, can get your car ready for fall.
Did you know that October is Fall Car Care month? It’s the perfect time for some DIY tips that allow you to prepare your car for the cooler weather. Our “work car” (as the kids call it) is a 2005 Honda Accord. It’s the car I drove before we had little ones again and it’s been a great car for us. Whoever doesn’t have to drop the kids off is the one who gets to drive the Honda to work (since there aren’t car seats in the car). This car is 10 years old and has 180,000+ miles on it. I truly believe one of the reasons it’s been such a great car is because of the care my husband puts into it.
5 Tips for Fall Car Care
When I asked my husband to share with our readers some tips for success he wanted to share some easy DIY things that you can do to not only save money, but to ensure things are done right!
1) Check your wiper blades and replace when needed. He especially makes sure to keep a close eye on them in the fall and winter months. With salt on roads and snow coming it can be rather difficult to see if the window gets dirty so for safety reasons make sure your wipers are in good, working condition. As a general rule replace them about every six months and keep in mind that if the wiper blades are torn or cracked they can create issues. Along with making sure your wiper blades are in good, working condition also make sure the windshield washer fluid is full. We also keep an extra bottle of wiper fluid in the back of the car just in case it is needed when we aren’t home.
2) Check the tread on the tires as well as the pressure. The tread can indicate the need for an alignment and can also let you know if it’s time for new tires. The colder it gets, the more often you’ll want to check the pressure as the dropping temps will cause the tires to lose pressure. Also be sure to check the pressure in your spare tire so it’s ready in case of an emergency.
3) Check all fluid levels and fill as needed. In addition to the windshield washer fluid I mentioned earlier, you’ll want to be sure the antifreeze and brake fluid and topped off.
4) Replace the air filter at least twice per year. My husband likes to change it in the fall and the spring. It’s easy to do and doesn’t even require any tools!
5) Change the oil in your car! This is an easy and fun DIY project that will keep your car running smoothly. Yes, you can get it done at various places but my husband says he prefers to do it because he can select the oil filter and oil that are used to make sure they are good quality products. His oil of choice is Pennzoil Platinum full synthetic motor oil. This motor oil is a high-quality oil that has been specially designed to give a car’s engine complete protection – something we definitely need!
- Go to Walmart pick up the Pennzoil Platinum full synthetic oil, oil filter and drain pan if you don’t already have one. If you are unsure of what grade of oil to purchase you can typically find this information on the oil cap under the hood or in the owner’s manual. We also suggest safety glasses to prevent oil from getting into your eyes as it’s draining.
- Safely lift the car using a jack and jack stands.
- Place a plastic tarp or cardboard down under the car to prevent oil from getting on the cement.
- Remove the drain plug and drain oil into the pan.
- Remove the old oil filter.Have the drain pan ready again as oil will leak from this as well.
- Place some oil around the top of the new oil filter.
- Put on the new oil filter but don’t tighten too tight.
- Under the hood of the car remove the oil cap and fill the oil using the recommended amount from the car’s instruction manual.
- Check the oil level to be sure it’s full.
- Start the car and let it run for approximately 10 minutes.
- Once done, please dispose of the used oil in an environmentally responsible way. You can check with your city to see if they pick up bottles of oil or you can pay a small fee to a car shop to dispose of the oil.
Check out our Instagram video, too, to see more of the process!