Tips on how to maintain your car during the winter months


By Rolling Out

Every car owner must take the time to pay attention to vehicle maintenance as the weather changes. With October being Fall Car Care Month, it’s important to raise awareness on how to properly maintain your vehicle.

Toyota recently teamed up with car analyst Jeff Fortson of to shed light on the subject. He spoke with rolling out to share his advice on developing a fall maintenance plan as the temperature drops.

Windshield Wipers 

“Number one, it’s recommended that every six months you should switch out your wiper blades because this will help during those rainy seasons or when sleet and snow rolls in. Also, make sure that the brake pads have been checked and examined. They may need to be changed out.”


“Make sure the rotors are also adjusted as needed. Another thing to consider that you utilize quite often in a vehicle in the changing season is to make sure your heating and cooling system is working properly. At some point, you’ll need to heat your vehicle during those cool mornings. You’ll need the defrosting system for the front windshield, rear windshield and there will also be cases where you might need it for your rear mirrors.”


Make sure you check your oil, oil filter, and air filter. Make sure you’re getting those things changed every 3,000 miles unless you’re utilizing synthetic oil. With synthetic oil, it’s recommended every 10,000 miles.


Another thing which is the heartbeat of your vehicle is the battery. And that’s recommended that you get that replaced every three years. As we get into this cooler weather pattern, we’ll be utilizing the battery, the heat, and other items in the vehicle more extensively which again will have a bigger effect of drawing more energy from the battery. If you have an older model vehicle that’s not under warranty, it’s recommended that you keep a pair of battery cables or jumper cables in the vehicle. Make sure they’re relatively new and not rusty and make sure you know how to use them. Now if you have a newer vehicle that’s under warranty, it’s recommended that if you contact the 1-800 number that came with the vehicle for roadside assistance and get it towed to your nearest dealership for assistance.


You should also make sure you examine your tires when the season changes. It’s recommended, depending upon what region of the country you live in, to switch your tires from summer tires to winter tires. It’s recommended too that you check the tire pressure of the vehicle. If you’re driving a vehicle that was built before 2004, it’s recommended that you purchase a new tire gauge.


Make sure that as you get your vehicle serviced, you’re looking for a certified technician to work on the vehicle and that has been extensively trained to work on the vehicle and who is ASE [automotive service excellence] certified. They’ve gone through countless hours of training and typically you can find those at a new car franchise and they’re in a better position of having all the appropriate tools and being able to fix and repair your vehicle right the first time. In case you don’t have a vehicle that has a maintenance light that goes off quite often, then you can also refer to the owner’s manual, which gives you a regular maintenance schedule. If you have a relationship with the dealership, you can also make sure you stay connected with them to keep up with your maintenance schedule and when you should come back to have service worked on in your vehicle. As far as shopping around, if you’re like me, you’re always looking for the best price plan. You can also shop around to check and see who is offering good fall and winter maintenance plans for your vehicle.

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