Fall Car Care Checklist: Get Your Honda Winter-Ready

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October is Car Care Month, and our service team at Herb Chambers Honda of Seekonk has some great tips on keeping up with your car maintenance. Now’s the time to prepare… before winter weather hits. A little basic auto maintenance now can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle later.

checklist Here is your checklist for fall car maintenance!

 Wash and detail: Treat your car to a thorough wash and detail before the nasty weather hits. When it begins to ice over and snow, all the dirt and grime that’s sitting on your car right now (you know it’s there) gets packed onto it, potentially damaging the finish. And don’t forgo car washes this winter!

 Oil Change:  Not changing oil frequently enough or allowing oil levels to run too low can ruin your car’s engine:  oil keeps your engine lubricated and moving. Check the level and get it changed frequently. You may also consider using a “winter weight” oil, which will lubricate your engine faster than regular oil and keeps things moving smoothly.

 Brakes and Brake Fluid:  Snow and sleet reduce your car’s traction, so your brakes are essential for auto safety on the icy, slippery roads of winter. If, during the dry summer weather, you’ve noticed any locking or pulling with your brakes, get that checked out right away to prevent loss of steering in wet weather. You should also see if your brake fluid needs a top-off.

 Serpentine Belt Wear and Tear:  The rubber in your serpentine belt is more likely to deteriorate in freezing temps. If your car’s serpentine belt is already worn out, you run the risk of it snapping. Take a look: if the belt looks shiny, the edges look frayed, the ribs on the underside look damaged, or you can see through the rubber to the fabric, get it replaced.

 Tire Pressure Check:  Your tires are the only part of your car that actually hit the road, so when things are slippery they need to be up to the task. Worn-down or bald tires can lead to skidding out or hydroplaning, so look to see that you have at least 1/16th of an inch of tread. Also, check your tire pressure at least once a month. Be on the lookout for pothole damage, too!

 Wiper Blades and Washer Fluid:  You use your windshield wipers much more in the snowy season, so be sure they completely clear your windshield. If your wipers miss spots, leave streaks, or get stuck, have them replaced. Also, switch to a specialized washer fluid for the cold temperatures that won’t freeze.

 Battery Efficiency:  Cold weather weakens your battery’s efficiency, particularly if it’s over three years old. Have it tested for power before the winter comes, and replace it if necessary. Also check the clamps, cables, and terminals for rust, corrosion, or loose connections.

 Emergency Kit: Make sure your Honda is equipped with an emergency kit this winter:  learn how to build your emergency kit. You never know when you may need it!

These basic points of car maintenance will help get your car ready for the upcoming New England winter. Remember, it’s much easier to take care of these things now than to wait until you’re broken down in a snowstorm! Need some help with your vehicle maintenance and repairs? Come down to our Honda Repair and Service Center and we’ll get you ready for the winter.  Special thanks to Tim Islip, Senior Service Advisor at Herb Chambers Honda of Seekonk, for all his advice on winterizing your Honda!


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