7 Vehicle Maintenance Tips For Fall Car Care


Team Auto Groups 7 fall car care tips to keep you safe on the road.

The seasons, they are a-changin'. Vehicle owners need to make sure their ride is ready to roll with the shifting seasons. Team Auto Group has assembled seven essential care tips to help make sure your vehicle is ready for the road ahead.


Tires and their condition can be easily overlooked and neglected. As the season transitions over to the colder and wetter weather, having tires in good condition can mean all the difference between staying on the road or being stuck in a ditch.

Tires have a tell that lets you know when it's time to get new ones, and that is tire tread depth. Tires in good condition will generally have a tread depth of around 4/32" or deeper. If the depth is 3/32", you should consider replacing them soon. And if it's 2/32" or less, they should be replaced as soon as possible. Aside from bringing in your car for an evaluation, there are a few ways you can gauge the condition of your tire tread on your own, such as the penny tire test and looking at the tire tread bar.

For the penny test, all you need is a good ol' penny. Just place the coin into the tire's tread groove with the head of Lincoln upside down (pointed towards the tire). If you can see all of Lincoln's head, your tread depth is at 2/32" or less and should be replaced.

Your tires also have another way of indicating tread depth, that's a molded indicator in the tire's groove. When those molded bars are flush with the tire tread, that means that the main tread is at 2/32" and needs replacing.


Do a quick walk around your vehicle the next time you start it this fall. Test the brake light, blinkers, high beams, hazards, and fog lights (if installed) to ensure that they are in perfect working condition. Fall brings shorter days and slicker road conditions, so visibility becomes even more important.


Your vehicle battery can be sensitive to temperature changes, be sure to take a look at its condition before winter comes. You don't want to have trouble starting your car when temps begin to dip. It's bad enough getting into a cold car.

Issues such as corrosion buildup on the battery posts and terminals can cause troubles with hard starting in cold weather. If the corrosion is bad enough, it can even reduce the amount of charge going back into your car battery while it runs.

Suppose you discover corrosion on the connection points on the battery. In that case, you can clean the posts and terminals by first disconnecting the negative cable and then the positive cable. Once the battery is disconnected, you can start the cleaning process. Either use special battery cleaning tools or use a mixture of baking soda (1 tablespoon) and hot water with a toothbrush as a scrubber.

Car batteries have a limited lifespan; you can get the battery tested at your local service shop to evaluate the battery's overall condition.

Heater, Defrost, and HVAC System

Heating and cooling systems in your vehicle aren't only good creature comforts to have; they also prevent your windows from fogging or icing over. If your defrost, heater, or air conditioning is not keeping up with outside temperatures, you should take it in to get inspected and serviced.

Hoses and Belts

The hot summer weather can put a strain on your hoses and belts. It's important to inspect them during the fall, so these critical components don't fail you during winter. You or a mechanic can take a look under the hood for hose leaks or loose connection points or checking belts for wearing, cracks, brittleness, or fraying.

Basic Vehicle Maintenance

Along with these key areas of car care, taking your vehicle in for routine basic car maintenance can help prevent some of these issues from popping up and reduce the overall amount of wear and tear on your vehicle. These maintenance tasks can be addressed when you bring your car into Team Auto Group's service center in Denison, Iowa. Our certified Ford and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram technicians will ensure your car is ready to go any season of the year. Schedule your service appointment by visiting our Service Center webpage for Ford and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram or by calling 712.393.3000.