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3 Easy DIY Car Maintenance Tips for the Fall Season

By Ahanix1989 at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
From Ahanix1989 via Wikimedia Commons
In order for your vehicle to perform flawlessly, you must keep up with the required maintenance. Although some tasks will require a mechanic’s expertise, car owners can save money by taking care of the easy stuff. Here are three do-it-yourself maintenance items to do during the fall.

Change the Air Filter

A vehicle’s air filter should be replaced at least once a year. Reputable tests have shown that a dirty air filter can dramatically reduce an engine’s power output. This may prompt drivers to press down harder on the accelerator, which leads to reduced fuel economy. Aside from the vehicle’s reduced performance, the clogged filter can also cause a failed emissions test. The entire job shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes to complete. While some air boxes are secured by just a few screws, others are held in place with metal fasteners. Typically, most replacement air filters cost less than $20.

Top Off the Fluids

It’s also important to check your fluids periodically. During the latter part of the fall season, the temperatures will begin to get much cooler. If the heater is only pumping out lukewarm air, an inadequate level of antifreeze could be the culprit. Car owners must keep the antifreeze level topped off. When adding antifreeze to the coolant reservoir, always use the specific type recommended by the automaker. It is not uncommon for the brake fluid level to gradually drop over time. A low level of brake fluid will eventually impact the vehicle’s ability to stop quickly.

Check the Battery and Lights

A poorly maintained battery is destined to cause problems. Carefully check the terminals for any signs of corrosion. The acid buildup can be quickly removed with a wire brush. If the corrosion is stubborn, use a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and water to help clean the terminals. Don’t forget to re-tighten the connections before closing the hood. It is also a good idea to check for burned-out light bulbs. Most bulbs can be easily replaced without using any hand tools.

These fall maintenance tips promise to give car owners an extra peace of mind. Everyone could use a little extra cash in their pockets, especially before the holiday season.

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