When it comes to cars and other combustion-engine vehicles, overheating is always a top concern. For many people, their worst fear is to see their engine overheat with steam spewing from under the hood. All of that may seem like bad news, yet most people often forget that excessively low temperatures can also be no good for your car if you’re caught unprepared.
That’s right! A car can’t run if things are too cold. Low temperatures, whether in the engine or outside in the open, can bring ill tidings to your car. That’s why you must prepare the vehicle for when the seasons change and temperatures drop.
Here’s the thing: you shouldn’t wait for winter to come around before you start to prepare. Instead, you must get ahead of the curve and start earlier on, namely in autumn (or ‘fall’, if that’s what you call it). By preparing your car earlier, you’ll be driving comfortably through the autumn months and even longer through the winter when things get cold.
In this article, we’re going to look at how you can get your car ready for autumn. First, we’ll explore the effects of cold weather on your vehicle. We’ll then explore the auto parts that you’ll want to provide with maintenance or replace entirely.
How Cold Temperatures Affect Your Car
When temperatures start to drop, some auto parts won’t function as efficiently as before. Some of the problems you’ll face are a bit more apparent and simple to deal with. For example, your windscreen may fog up, and your wipers may even freeze in place when it gets icy.
But your problems don't end there. When autumn rolls around and things start to get a bit more than chilly, you may find that your battery gradually loses its ability to hold power. Simply put, the lower the temperatures, the less useful your car battery becomes. As a result, you might have a tough time trying to start your car up each morning.
Remember: the smooth operation of your car relies on plenty of fluids and lubricants. These fluids are designed to absorb heat from moving auto parts like those in your engines, but they’re not necessarily suitable for lower temperatures.
The list goes on, but the bottom line is clear: for the most part, your car can handle the heat on its own. However, your car will need extra help from you to prepare it for autumn every year.
What Car Parts to Check or Replace for Autumn
To keep things organised and simple to understand, let’s divide your car parts into four categories: everything under the hood, your wheels and tyres, the exterior, and the tools or supplies you keep in the trunk.
Under the Hood
As autumn approaches, the first thing you’ll want to do is perform maintenance and repairs on the parts under your hood. Of course, it would be best to start by inspecting the major components like your engine and gearbox to ensure they’re in good working condition.
Still, don’t forget the ‘little’ stuff as well, like your belts and hoses! It’s probably safe to say that most car owners often neglect these minor auto parts, even though they tend to be the most vulnerable to colder temperatures.
Suppose you have some parts under the hood that are somewhat worn out and due for a change. If that’s the case, then there’s no better time to replace parts like those than when preparing for autumn.
Once you’re sure that all of those parts are running smoothly, be sure to replace or check all of your car’s fluids. Give your car an oil change, and make sure that your antifreeze, lubricants, and even your wiper fluid are all topped up.
The focus here is to get your car back up to 100% so that it can serve you well all through the autumn months.
Wheels and Tyres
In warmer times, you might get away with driving on slightly worn-out tyres, as they can continue to provide you with enough traction to keep you safe. It’s a different story during autumn months – that's not a risk that you'll want to take, especially when roads start to get slick. Rubber on a wet road is never a good combination, no matter how good a driver you think you are or how slow you're going.
So, be sure to include your wheels and tyres as part of your pre-autumn maintenance plans. You can start by inspecting them (yourself or by your mechanic) to ensure they’re in good condition.
If anything is less than perfect, it would be a good time to invest in new tyres and even wheels. On top of that, you could also ask your mechanic to check your wheel alignment as well. A proper wheel alignment will prevent any vibrations while driving and improve the overall handling of your car.
Besides replacing parts under the hood, there are also a few steps you can take to prepare your car’s exterior for the autumn season. You can do this by getting your car washed and then applying a fresh coat of wax.
That’ll serve as a protective layer against the elements, keeping your car’s paint job looking nice and clean.
Key Supplies and Tools
Finally, please take some time to inspect the supplies and tools you keep in your car. At the very least, you should have a basic set of tools so you can perform minor repairs on the road if necessary. That toolkit should also include jumper cables or a car jump starter battery to ensure that you never get stuck out in the cold.
Unlike during warmer months, getting stuck out in the cold is a lot less pleasant and potentially a lot less safe, as well. That’s why your preparedness should focus on keeping your car mobile as much as possible.
To prepare for those moments when your car breaks down, and you're immobilised, you could pack things like reflectors or road flares as well. Those items will make it easy for other drivers to spot you in low-visibility conditions.
Keep Learning with Us!
To learn more about keeping your car in its best condition, check out the blog at Carpart.com.au. It is updated frequently with new articles teaching you everything you need to know to prepare your car for autumn or any other season throughout the year.
If you need parts to keep your car ready for autumn, please don’t hesitate to send us a request for parts. Immediately, we’ll inform our network of car part suppliers and auto wreckers to help us locate the part for you. You will then receive quotes in a matter of minutes or hours, without you dialing a single number! It’s that easy – try requesting a part now!
By Ray Hasbollah