It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and the most stressful for many people. From shopping for gifts to hosting holiday parties to juggling end-of-year demands at work, it’s easy to put car maintenance on hold in December. However, to make sure everything continues running smoothly into the new year and beyond, don’t neglect your car this month! Here are the top tasks to make a priority before the year ends.
Tiny air leaks cause tires to gradually lose pressure over time. To prolong the life of your tires, help prevent a dangerous blowout, and improve your gas mileage, you should check your tire pressure once a month—and December is no exception!
An inexpensive tire gauge is all you need to check your tire pressure. You can purchase one at a gas station or auto parts store. To know how much air each tire needs, check the vehicle owner’s manual or inside the driver’s side door. If any of your tires have low pressure, take your car to a gas station with an air pump as soon as possible. If the same tire goes flat month after month, visit Scott’s Fort Collins Auto for tire repair or replacement.
Snow makes for slushy roads and windshield splatter. A quick spray of washer fluid and a swipe of the windshield wipers are all you need to restore visibility. Of course, this causes you to use up windshield washer fluid faster in the winter than other times of the year. Make sure you top it off at least once this month, especially if you’re going on a holiday road trip.
Oil is responsible for lubricating the engine. While your car doesn’t consume oil the way it uses gas, it’s still important to check the oil level periodically, especially if your car has a leak. If you determine that you’re low on oil, add more of the recommended type until the fluid level lands between the indicators on the dipstick.
Also, pay attention to the color of the oil. It should look like honey. If it’s dark, this means it’s time for an oil change at Scott’s.
While you’re browsing the web for the perfect holiday gifts, take a moment to search for your car’s make and model and the word “recall.” While manufacturers should reach out to vehicle owners with information about relevant recalls, it doesn’t hurt to conduct a quick online search yourself. If you discover an open recall, contact Scott’s to learn how you should address the problem.
The nights reach their longest in December. This means you rely on headlights, brake lights, and turn signals now more than ever. With assistance from a second person, check all exterior vehicle lights to make sure nothing is burned out. If you need a bulb replaced, leave this task to a mechanic at Scott’s the next time you visit us for an oil change.
Not every winter day in Northern Colorado is cold and snowy. We get plenty of relatively warm, sunny days, too. It’s on one of these days that you should take your vehicle to a car wash. Rinse off the grime from snowstorms past to preserve your car’s paint and prevent road salt from building up on the undercarriage.
You may not feel like you have time to spare for vehicle maintenance around the holidays, but you can easily fit these tasks in between baking cookies, decorating the tree, wrapping gifts, and shopping for everyone on your list. By making car care a priority in December, you’ll avoid unnecessary headaches in the new year.
You can probably manage most of these chores yourself, but if you discover a problem—such as a flat tire, oil pan leak, or burned out headlight—stop by Scott’s Fort Collins Auto for all your car maintenance needs. We’ll keep your car up and running for the remainder of the winter season. Give us a call at (970) 682-4202 today or schedule your next appointment online!