fall weather

It’s mid-August which means September is coming at us fast and with it comes a new season… While the fall weather here in Wisconsin can offer much in the way of scenery, it can also present some unique challenges for drivers throughout the state.

As temperatures begin to fall, leaves begin to change color and snow warnings start to show up on weather forecasts, here are a few things to be mindful of regarding your vehicle’s health:

1. Tire Pressure – As temperatures drop, your tire pressure can lose as much as 1 psi for every 10-degree change. Keep a pressure gauge in your glove box and check your tire pressure at home. If you’re not sure what the recommended tire pressure is for your vehicle, call us at 262-968-3324. Proper pressure improves fuel efficiency and helps keep your tires in good working condition for longer!

2. Tire Tread – Check your tire’s tread as well! Your tire becomes legally bald when tread falls below 1/16 of an inch, but 1/8 of an inch is much safer for wet snowy and icy conditions. A quick way to check your tread is to insert the head of a penny into the groove – if you can see all of President Lincoln’s head, you’re below the required level.

3. Cooling System – Coolant (aka antifreeze) is critical to keep your engine running, without freezing or overheating, even when the weather in Wisconsin gets cold. Have your coolant checked before winter arrives. Our experienced technicians will let you know if your vehicle is due for a coolant flush.

4. Headlights – Visibility is important year-round but during the fall and winter – when days get shorter, nights get longer, and precipitation is more prevalent – it’s even more important. Your vehicle’s headlights can often turn yellow and cloudy as a natural part of driving. The cause is oxidation, created from exposure to regular sunshine and fresh air. That’s to say nothing of chemicals put on the road to prevent ice, damage by rocks and debris, and even water vapor seeping into the light and clouding things up. Thankfully, causes of cloudy headlights are easily fixed. Whether it’s done by you or by an expert (like our techs), the process is the same: remove the oxidized portion of the lens with an abrasive, and then polish to a shine.

5. Brakes – Your braking system is one of the most important parts of your vehicle when it comes to your safety, especially when roads start to get icy at this time of year. It’s important to have your braking system thoroughly inspected at least once a year by an ASE-certified technician. The inspection should include brake and dash warning lights, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake fluid level, brake lining wear and rotor thickness. If you feel any vibrations/grabbing or hear any grinding/squealing coming from your brakes, your brakes need to be serviced ASAP.

If you have any questions/concerns regarding your vehicle’s health as we head towards autumn, be sure to give us a call at 262-968-3324!