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Preparing Your Vehicles As We Head Into Fall and Winter

Your car takes a beating day in and day out, but as the seasons change and the weather starts to get colder and more harsh, now is the time to start thinking about getting your car ready for the winter weather. Keep reading to find out how to start that preparation! Though the Bay Area isn’t necessarily known for its harsh weather conditions, there’s no telling what this winter season will bring. With fire still raging all over California and the west coast, now’s the time to get fully prepped for the months that lie ahead. Take a look at some of the ways you can get prepped:
 
1. Engine
There are a multitude of things that could go wrong with your engine during the winter, so now’s a good time to give everything a thorough once-over. Get an oil change, and have your fluid levels checked. This should include your antifreeze, oil, windshield washer fluid, radiator fluid, and more. Also take a look at all your belts and hoses, to see if any have abnormal or extensive cracks or leaks. If you do, see an auto mechanic right away. Additionally, you should give your transmission and brakes an inspection, which can easily be handled by the skilled auto mechanic team at Autotrend Diagnostics!
While you’re taking a look at your engine, this is also a good time to check on how your air filter is doing. With all the fires raging around California, you don’t want to be breathing in bad air from a clogged air filter. Your car’s cabin filter and all your air filters will likely need changing soon, if not immediately, as a result of the soot and ash in the air. 
 
2. Tires
While San Jose enjoys a relatively moderate cold season, the rain and potential hail that we see during the winter can pose just as much of a hazard to drivers as snow. You should inspect your tires for proper tread, as well as abnormal wear and tear, and air pressure, which can easily be performed by your auto mechanic of choice. You’ll also want to have your tires rotated and balanced, in order to ensure that you have full control and precise handling when you need it most in the coming winter rainy season.
If you plan on heading to areas with snow or ice on the roads, you may want to think about snow tires or snow chains. With snow tires you’ll get superior maneuverability and handling, though they may be a hassle to buy, install, and remove. Snow chains are another great option, and are easy to put on, take off, and store in your trunk.
 
3. Lights and Bulbs
Lights and bulbs may not seem like they need all that much attention, but when you’re out on the road and your headlight or tail light goes out, you’ll wish you’d checked them! Go through all the lights and bulbs on your car and see if any are dimmed or in need of replacing. If they’re no longer good, give the Autotrend Diagnostics team a call. We’ll get your lights and bulbs squared away with speed and efficiency and have you on your way in no time.
 
4. Windshield Wipers
The windshield wipers on your car are especially important in the winter. With rain, sleet, and potentially snow obstructing your vision while driving, you need to be able to depend on your windshield to clear your view. If you notice that your wiper blades make a squeaking or skipping noise while they’re on, or if they have any visible damage like cracks, brittleness, or chunks missing out of the rubber, you should look into having them replaced. Otherwise, they should be replaced every six months to a year as needed.
 
5. Car Emergency Kit
Your car emergency kit should always remain in your vehicle, and each vehicle you drive should have one! You should cater your emergency kit to your particular car’s needs, as well as the location and terrain you’ll be driving in. Every kit should at least contain jumper cables, flashlight and batteries, flares or reflective road triangles, a warm blanket, basic toolkit, a first aid kit with a small supply of your prescription medications. You may also want to include some bottled water, non-perishable snacks, and an extra cell phone charger.
 
To learn more about how to get your car ready for the fall and winter, give the team at Autotrend Diagnostics a call today! For the best auto repair and preventive maintenance service, schedule an appointment online or give Autotrend Diagnostics a call. You'll be glad you did! Schedule an appointment for service, or contact us online for a stress-free auto repair experience. See you soon!

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