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Fall Car Care: Vancouver Weather Car Maintenance Checklist

BMW in fall, fall car maintenance tips

As we say goodbye to summer and head into Fall, it is important to prepare your car for the upcoming winter months. Help your car transition into the cold weather and rainy months ahead, with these fall car care tips. Prepare your vehicle for the changing of seasons.

Fall is the ideal time for vehicle maintenance. Stay ahead and prepare your car now so that you’re not scrambling during Vancouver’s first snow-fall. Vancouverites are notorious for being ill-prepared for winter weather, don’t fall victim to that stereotype. Remember the salt shortage of 2017?

1. Check Your Wipers

As we head into the rainy season, make sure your windshield wipers are up to par. Poorly functioning wipers are dangerous as they can leave streaks that obstruct your view. Make sure your wipers are working well, as they’ll definitely be put to work over the fall months. After all, they call it Raincouver for a reason.

If your wiper blades are starting to squeak, it’s time to change them. Worn out blades limit your driving visibility. Luckily, wiper blades are easy to replace and should be changed every 6 to 12 months.

While you’re at it, check your washer fluid. Fall is the perfect time to switch from your summer fluid to a winter fluid. Winter windshield fluids have de-icing additives, to help prevent it from freezing.

windshield wipers on a rainy day

2. Assess Your Tires

Don’t forget to check your tires! Fall means frosty, early mornings, so make sure your tires are in tip-top condition. Check the tread on your tires, worn-out tires are especially dangerous on icy roads.

Worn out treads affect the tire’s ability to evacuate water, which can lead to hydroplaning. Worn out treads also increase the distance needed to stop. In Canada, the legal limit of wear is 1.6mm, so be sure to get your tires replaced well before you reach that threshold.

A simple way to check your tires is to put them to the nickel test. Insert a nickel into the tread head down, if you can see Queen Elizabeth’s crown, your tire needs to be replaced.

While you’re checking your tire treads, be sure to check your tire pressure. Underinflated tires wear faster, and reduce fuel economy.

Fall is also the perfect time to switch out your summer or all-season tires for your winter tires. Although winter tires are not always necessary for driving around the city during the winter months, if you plan on leaving Vancouver, some highways in B.C require winter tires.

Winter tires improve your car's ability to stop under certain conditions, like ice and snow. Speaking of things that help you stop -- check your brakes!

healthy treads on a new set of tires

3. Check Your Heater And Defroster

As the temperature starts to drop, check your heater and defroster. During the colder months, your defroster helps to clear your windows, which affects your driving visibility. If your defroster isn’t working properly, it will obstruct your view, creating a dangerous driving environment.

Do yourself a favor and check your heater, no one wants to sit in a freezing car during their morning commute. As temperature drops, don’t get left in the cold!

Regular maintenance of your car’s heating system can also help reduce the amount of pollen, bacteria, and dust trapped in your car cabin. Since the heater, air conditioner, and air filter of your car are all connected.

4. Examine Your Oil

Engine oil is an important component of your car and should be checked regularly. Oil lubricates the engine and helps protect it from overheating. Aside from topping up your oil regularly, dig out that owner’s manual to see when you are due for an oil change.

Without the proper amount of oil or clean oil, your engine will not be able to run properly. This can result in engine damage or even having to replace the engine entirely. Think of engine oil as the blood of your car, it keeps everything running smoothly, and your car can not function without it.

shiny, clean car engine

5. Inspect Your Lights

As the days get darker earlier make sure all of your lights are fully functioning. With fall comes shorter days, fog, rain, and frost, all of which reduce your visibility while driving. Check to see if your lights are working, and look out for surface damage by wiping each light with a cloth.

Be sure to check your headlights, taillights, parking lights, brake lights, and even your emergency flashers. Make sure they are all working and clean. It is not only incredibly dangerous to drive with a broken light, but also illegal. To check the condition of your lights, have a friend work the switches while you walk around your car.

6. Assess Your Battery

As the weather cools down, it’s time to check your car battery! The summer heat is a battery’s worst nightmare. Heat under the hood speeds up battery corrosion.

Assess your battery as we head into fall, as cold weather also puts a strain on your battery. Check your battery and charging system, make sure all the connections are clean and corrosion-free. Save yourself the hassle of calling BCAA in the cold, be proactive, and check your battery health now.

7. Check Your Cooling System

Cooler weather can result in your car’s fluids becoming thicker and more viscous, making it harder for the fluids to move through your engine. Coolant aka antifreeze is especially important, as it is what prevents your engine from freezing.

Frequent coolant top-ups are important in between full changes. Not all cars come with a low coolant warning light, so it is important to stay on top of it. While the effects of running your engine on low coolant are not always immediately apparent. Over time, it can cause extensive damage to your engine and transmission.

Check your owner’s manual to see how frequently your coolant should be completely changed, as it varies between models. If it’s time for a coolant flush, drain the remaining coolant from your car, and refill it. Remember, the ratio of coolant to water should be lower in the summer, and higher in the winter. 60% coolant and 40% water is ideal during the colder months.

8. Protect The Exterior

Vancouver is notorious for being the rainiest city in Canada. Protect your car during the rainy season with a ceramic coating. Invest in a ceramic coating to protect your car from oxidation, acid rain, UV damage, colour fading, bug impacts, and light surface damage.

Ceramic coatings make cleaning your car a breeze, by preventing grime and dirt from sticking to your car. Wipe off contaminants with ease, ideal for that rainy Vancouver fall weather. Just be sure you seek out a professional, as DIY ceramic coatings are costly to fix.

Double up on protection by getting paint protection film in conjunction with your ceramic coating. Paint protection film or PPF, acts as a sacrificial layer between your car and the environment, protecting your car scratches and scuffs.

Looking For Premium Vancouver Auto Detailing? Wetwerks Vancouver Can Help!

Got a question about your fall car care or anything else about auto detailing? We’re here to help!

When you book with Wetwerks Autospa Vancouver, you can rest assured knowing that your car is in the best hands. We love cars, as much as you do.

Our techs are professionally trained and we only use the highest quality products. Whether you’re looking for car detailing, paint correction, ceramic coatings, or for protection against the elements, we’ve got you covered.

Contact Wetwerks Auto Spa Vancouver’s Auto Spa specialists today to find the right fit for your car! The best option that your car deserves. An eye for detail you can trust.

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