Autumn is here. It goes without saying that this season of the year is characterized by the appearance of adverse weather phenomena that can surprise us on the road. Among them are the rain, fog and ice that announce, in a certain way, the arrival of winter. Also, in autumn the nights are longer, so that the risks of accident may increase, as night driving is more dangerous than daytime driving.
From coches.com we invite you to prudence and above all, we show you some of the necessary tips to have the car ready in autumn:
Check the lights
Now that the hours of sunshine are beginning to diminish, this is a key aspect of your vehicle. So the first thing to do is check headlights, taillights, parking lights, brake lights and turn signals. It’s a good idea to ask someone you know for help to let you know if they’re okay.
Experts advise to check the lights every five years, since with time the bulbs lose intensity. Remember that, in addition to being dangerous, wearing a blown headlight is a fine of 200 euros (without loss of points). So that this doesn’t happen to you, use the lights when necessary… and remember to turn them off when you come out of a tunnel. In addition, they will illuminate better if you clean the headlight on the outside when washing the car, using a cloth and window cleaner.
Check that the rear thermal glass is working properly. You probably haven’t used it in months and you might get a surprise when you really need it. If it doesn’t work, it may just be a matter of changing a simple fuse.
It’s one of the maxims when it comes to tuning the car in the fall. Your drawing must be at least 1.6 mm deep for safety and by law. If it is smaller it is recommended to change them for new ones. Even so, if they are more than four years old it is also advisable to replace them, as the rubber hardens and loses up to 60% of its effectiveness.
To try to make them last as long as possible, what you should do is drive smoothly. It is also important to avoid kerbs when parking and, above all, to carry them with the proper pressure (you have to check them every month and before embarking on any long journey).
If you puncture a wheel, we remind you that you must bring the spare wheel to the necessary pressure and tools for placement. Apart from this, you must wear a duly homologated reflective vest and two homologated warning triangles. In this post we compile all the things you should wear in the car)
The purpose of the wiper blades is to completely clean the windshield. Visually, check that their rubber is not cracked and that they sweep the windshield correctly. How do we know they fail? When they leave traces of dirt or sound more than normal (maximum life is two years).
In order to extend their use it is enough to clean them once a month with a cotton wool soaked in alcohol and a soft cloth. What you can’t do is use them to remove ice from the windscreen. You should know that during the summer, and due to the high temperatures, have been left in poor condition.
Changing the oil
When changing the oil of the car, the car should be cold and parked on the flat, and then remove the dipstick in the engine compartment. The oil level must always be between the MAX. and MIN. marks. However, most cars have a light in the instrument panel that warns if the level drops too low.
On the other hand, if the engine is petrol and you see that the oil is very black, replace it. In diesel it is more common to darken. To try to extend the life of your car’s oil, you should avoid short journeys and sporty driving. A few months ago we explained the keys to choosing the best car oil for your engine.
Inspect under the hood
Looking under the hood will allow you to identify obvious signs of wear or parts that need to be replaced or repaired, such as leaks, cracks and clamps. Also inspect (not too much) the bottom of the drive belts and replace them if necessary. Finally, if you hear some kind of engine noise, you’d better call a mechanic and have it checked.
We all know that sometimes it is difficult to start the car in cold weather. A fully charged battery is ideal.
How do you know when to change the battery? If it’s more than five years old, you should change it: it’s its half-life and if it’s over that age, it can leave you lying around when you least expect it (you may be interested in our basic tips for buying a new battery). In order not to waste it and to extend its useful life, you should not connect the radio, the lights or the heating with the engine without starting, since this way it consumes much more.
The coolant keeps the engine at a constant temperature (between 90º and 92º) for proper operation. Its good condition will depend on whether it is possible to drive the vehicle at low temperatures. It is also in charge of supplying hot water for heating.
Although it is possible to add water, it is not advisable to do so for two reasons. To begin with, modern cars are no longer made only of iron and steel, but less heavy alloys are used… which can be damaged by water. The coolant contains corrosion inhibitors that protect them. The second reason is that it contains ethylene glycol, a chemical that does not freeze in winter.
To replace or replace it, all you have to do is open the tank (always with the engine cold) and check that there are no traces of rust and that the color of the liquid is normal (green, pink or yellow). Experts recommend changing it every two years.