Now is the time to start thinking about getting your car ready for the colder months ahead. Here are a few simple maintenance checks to help keep your vehicle in top condition. Battery Fall is a good time to inspect your car battery, making sure the cables and terminals are snug, and retighten as necessary for good contact. If your connections are dirty or showing a lot of corrosion, disconnect and clean them with a wire brush or cleaning tool. Be aware that when you disconnect the battery, you may have to re-enter a security code in your radio or navigation system. If the vehicle is going to be parked or stored for an extended period of time, you may want to consider investing in a trickle charger to keep it charged. All batteries lose strength over time, so it’s important to be proactive in replacing your battery. Batteries come in a variety of sizes, and it’s important to choose the right size. If you are not sure what type of battery is right for your vehicle, make sure to schedule an appointment so we can inspect it for you. Headlights As cars age, the headlights can become cloudy or hazy, especially on cars that are routinely parked outside. More than a cosmetic problem, clouded lenses can pose a serious threat to safety, compromising night vision and reducing the effectiveness of your headlights by up to 80 percent. Tires Proper maintenance and responsible driving can maximize the mileage in a set of tires. Monthly tread inspections can inform when the tires warrant replacement. If you notice that your tires have less than 1/8-inch of tread left, then it’s time for a new set. Most people buy all-season tires because it’s easier and cheaper than buying one set for the winter and another for summer. Wash and Wax Fall is a good time to clean up your car so that winter’s mess doesn’t land on top of the summer’s dead bugs, bird droppings, and tree sap. If you want to go further than soap and water, you can try car wax to keep your car’s finish looking new. Most waxes tested showed a significant loss of protection within about five weeks. Wipers If your wipers are leaving streaks of water on your windshield, then it’s time to replace them. Wipers degrade quickly and typically need to be changed every 6 to 12 months. Should performance deteriorate in less time, try cleaning the blade with a paper towel and glass cleaner. Often, that can renew the blades for a few more weeks or months of streak-free operation.