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10 Easy Used Car Care Tips From 199ride

Here are 10 easy tips to consider completing while the weather is still nice before winter rolls around.

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If it’s not broken, don’t fix it … right? Wrong. When it comes to your vehicle, routine car care is vital. Some of the simplest tasks can go the longest way when it comes to your car’s total health and longevity. In honor of October being Fall Car Care month, here are 199ride’s top 10 easy tips to consider completing while the weather is still nice before winter rolls around.

1. Head to the car wash

If you take pride in driving a well-kept car, getting your car washed is extremely important, especially before winter with road salt season approaching. Car washes prevent dirt, bugs, salt, and other things from sticking to your vehicle. It keeps contaminants from damaging your car’s paint and finish. While you’re at it, find a car wash that has a free vacuum and give the interior some love. If you don’t want to do it yourself, car washes like PDQ in Green Bay, Appleton, and Shawano offer speedy interior and exterior cleaning for reasonable prices.

2. Check your tires

When life gets in the way, it’s easy to overlook your tires’ health. Before winter hits, be sure to take some time to check them out. Stop into a shop to have your tires inspected or try one of the popular coin tests from Goodyear.

While you’re at it, check the spare to make sure it is in tip top shape. Check the air pressure to ensure it’s ready for use in case of an emergency. No one wants to be stranded on the road without a spare in the middle of winter.

3. Inspect wiper blades

Image courtesy of Kurt Bauschardt via Flickr creative commons

Good wiper blades are key to safe driving. They say windshield wipers need to be replaced every six months to one year. To tell if your blades need replacing, take a close look at them. Fall is the perfect time to inspect them before your windshield and wipers are caked with snow. Is the rubber piece smooth or cracked? If you see any imperfections, it’s time for new ones. Do they make an awful noise when they slide across the glass or do they cause streaks? If so, they need to go. Are the parts not touching your windshield properly? These are all signs of bad wiper blades.

4. Get an oil change

Keep your engine at its best and prevent costly repairs down the road with regular oil changes. Experts say to change your oil every 5,000 miles, but it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for your specific car. While oil change prices vary, the average cost of $120/year is much more manageable than the cost of replacing your engine for around $4000 if you don’t keep up with regular oil changes.

5. Check the brakes

If you don’t know how to check brakes yourself, have them inspected when you go in for your oil change. They can be a costly replacement if you run them down for too long. If you hear squeaking or grinding when you apply brakes, release brakes, or turn, if you have to push the brake harder than normal to stop, or if a warning light comes on while driving, it might be time for new breaks. Good breaks will be important for your safety in the icy months to come.

6. Top off power steering fluids

Whip out your owner’s manual to find where your power steering reservoir is located. Give your car some extra love by ensuring the steering fluids are filled to capacity. Remember to only use the recommended fluid and to never overfill the reservoir.

7. Inspect the battery

If you’ve had your car battery for over three years, you should be inspecting the battery on a yearly basis. There are a handful of signs that may indicate it’s time for a new battery, but in the meantime, check to make sure your battery terminals are clean and tight, and that the battery is secure.

8. Check the washer fluid

Care for your car and yourself by investing in an emergency kit. A good driver is always prepared and knows car issues can happen unexpectedly. Buy a pre-made kit or pack your own with the following items: first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, multi-purpose tool, road flares, shovel, ice scraper, and bottled water.

9. Prepare an emergency kit

Care for your car and yourself by investing in an emergency kit. A good driver is always prepared and knows car issues can happen unexpectedly. Buy a pre-made kit or pack your own with the following items: first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, multi-purpose tool, road flares, shovel, ice scraper, and bottled water.

10. Buy a worry-free used car from 199ride

When you buy a used car from 199ride, rest assured that you are purchasing a reliable one in time for winter. If you didn’t give your vehicle enough love and are in the market for a new one, explore nicer, newer™, worry-free cars from 199ride. Stop by one of our five convenient Wisconsin car dealerships in Green Bay, Appleton, Wausau, Antigo or La Crosse and check out our extensive used car inventory to find the perfect car, truck, or SUV for all your fall and winter adventures.

The majority of these items are fairly easy to do, and most can be done yourself with as little time and dedication. Give your car some TLC in honor of Fall Car Care Month while the weather is still warm enough – your wallet may thank you later!

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