Prepping your vehicle for the fall
There might be some argument, respectfully, but fall is widely considered the best time of year in the Pacific Northwest. Our favorite materials include flannel and fleece, our favorite temperatures are “crisp,” and, of course, the start of football season.
While that last reason isn’t necessarily unique to our neck of the woods, it’s hard to discount just how lovely the fall season is. The trees that color the landscape with oranges, yellows, and reds (and the usual spots of evergreen), our evening walks are bathed in a coolness that makes the air seem just a little bit cleaner.
The changing colors should also serve as a reminder to prepare your car for the upcoming colder weather. Not that getting stranded on a backroad is a lot of fun in the summer, but as the bad weather starts rolling in, you’ll want to make sure your car runs as well as possible.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Now is a good time to check all of the fluid levels in the car, including oil, coolant, and even wiper fluid (more on that later). Even if you can’t do this on your own, it’s a pretty quick way to make sure your car is ready for fall. Go to a mechanic you trust to give your car the once over.
In addition to the car itself, it’s important to get the inside of your car ready for fall and winter, too. This could be anything from making sure you have an ice scraper to emergency supplies. These supplies should include a blanket, water, flares or reflective signs, and even an amount of non-perishable snacks that can last a few months.
Of course, your car should always have jumper cables, a jack, a spare tire, and tire chains in the car. If you don’t already, consider programming a few roadside car service companies, like Chappelle’s Towing, into your phone. If you’re in a position where you can’t change a tire, or you don’t have a spare, this could be a lifesaver.
How Fall Conditions Affect Driving
The shorter days also mean those gorgeous sunsets are happening earlier in the day, creating a potentially blinding glare as students are being released from after-school activities. Take extra care in school zones, athletic fields, and even in school parking lots when picking up your kids. A clean windshield does wonders for reducing glare but using the car visor or sunglasses helps, too.
Those leaves we mentioned before? Eventually they’ll fall to the ground, blanketing neighborhood streets. The cold weather could produce frost, turning those crunchy leaves into a slick surface. Check your tires to see if the tire pressure is correct and the tread is still good, although even the knobbiest of tires won’t compete with five or six layers of leaves. Again, take care in neighborhoods and school areas.
However, as fall drags on into November and eventually gives way to winter, the rains will come (another Pacific Northwest staple). And while the snow and ice may still be a few months away, the rainy, inclement weather can still cause a lot of problems along your commute.
The first thing that can be affected is visibility. It’s important to make sure the windshield wiper blades are in good shape and capable of removing the rain as it falls. Blades that are cracked, peeling away from the wiper, or are just worn down could cause streaking – or even failure! – during crucial times. And any time you’re behind the wheel is a crucial time.
The Pacific Northwest in the fall is a sight to behold. But if you don’t get your car ready for the colder temps and sometimes precarious driving conditions, you could find yourself in a tough position. If you do, make sure you have our number. We offer 24-hour emergency service and can tow your car to safety if needed.