Getting your car ready for autumn

Fall is a great time to give your car a full cleaning, both inside and out.

The autumn colors are out and the temperature is starting to drop below freezing on some nights. This means it’s time again to start looking at some important things involving your vehicle.

Fall is a great time to give your car a full cleaning, both inside and out. Start by going through the trunk as well as all compartments and under the seats. Remove anything that accumulated over the summer that’s not needed through the winter. Put camping and other summer items in a marked box and store it out of the way in your garage. It will be ready to go next spring.

We tend not to clean our cars during the cold days of winter. Dirt and debris builds up over the summer. This dirt and debris can affect working components in your car, and cause unnecessary wear and tear. It’s important to the long-term health of your vehicle to clean it all out. If you’re feeling lazy or just don’t have the time, book it into a detail shop. It just feels great to hop into a nice clean car.

Check to ensure your vehicle has a winter safety kit that includes booster cables, safety flares, warm gloves, hat and boots, a safety blanket and maybe a few energy bars.

Pull out your extension cord for plugging your vehicle in and get your timer set up if you use one to have your engine and battery heaters come on during the night. It’s much easier to do this now rather than after the snow flies.

It’s time to start thinking about switching to your winter snow tires. There’s a lot more to snow tires than the tread. Snow tires are designed to perform best at colder temperatures. The rubber is designed to stay soft and grip when it’s below seven degrees Celsius.

When temperatures warm up, you will not get a crisp response from snow tires. The rubber on snow tires is very flexible and will wear quickly, and probably unevenly, in warm temperatures and on dry pavement. Summer tires are made of a harder compound which will give you better performance and better fuel economy in warm weather.

Book your car in to have the tires swapped as soon as you think you’re ready. Once the first snowflake falls everyone will be rushing to get their tires swapped so if you wait for the last minute (like everybody else) you may experience wait times to get into your favorite tire or repair shop. For most people, it is likely better and safer to run snow tires on pavement for a few weeks than to run summer tires on snow for a few weeks.

While you’re getting your tires swapped it’s a good idea to have your wheel alignment checked. Over the summer you may have travelled down bumpy back roads with potholes and other conditions that can throw your alignment off.

Bad alignment can cause uneven tire wear and premature wearing of suspension parts. It can even affect fuel economy. It’s important that your vehicle steers and tracks properly. It can be a safety issue. Spend the money to have your allignment checked.

While your vehicle is in getting the tires swapped have your shop do full fall service. This would include all the standard things like getting oil changed and having the brakes and suspension components checked. It also would include having your oil pan heater, block heater, and battery blanket checked to make sure they are still working and in good condition. Having your windshield washer fluid and antifreeze checked to ensure they are ready for cold temperatures. During the summer, you may have added water to top these up and thus diluted these fluids.

The summer’s dusty roads can cause havoc on air filters and cabin air filters. Dirty air filters can affect fuel economy by as much as 10 per cent. Dirty air filters can also affect engine performance, and eventually even fail, causing engine damage that would not be covered by your warranty. It does happen.

Clogged cabin air filters can affect the performance of your heat and/or air conditioning, not to mention reduce the air quality inside your vehicle. Keeping them both clean is a worthwhile investment.

Ask your repair shop to check your wiper blades. Dirt, dust and mud over the summer will have worn your and pitted your wiper blade. When this happens, they won’t perform as well as they should when you need them most.

Having your vehicle clean, serviced, and ready for winter roads is really a necessity living here in the North. Plus it just gives you peace of mind.

Catch Driving, with Jens on CHON FM Thursdays at 8:15. If you have any questions or comments you can reach out to Jens Nielsen at drivingwithjens@gmail.com, on Facebook or on Twitter: @drivingwithjens.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kwanlin Dün First Nation chief Doris Bill holds up a signed copy of the KDFN <em>Lands Act</em> agreement during an announcement at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse on Oct. 20. Under the new act, called Nan kay sháwthän Däk’anúta ch’e (We all look after our land) in Southern Tutchone, KDFN will be able to allot citizens land to build their own houses on, for example, or to use for traditional activities. The First Nation will also be able to enforce laws around things like land access and littering. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s Lands Act comes into force

The act gives the First Nation the authority to manage, protect and enforce laws on its settlement lands

Two doctors in Watson Lake say they are at risk of losing their housing due to a Yukon Housing Corporation policy that only allows one pet per family. (Wikimedia Commons)
Healthcare workers in Watson Lake say housing pet policy could force them to leave

The Yukon Housing Corporation has threatened evictions for having more than one pet

The Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services building in Whitehorse on March 28, 2019. Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed for good say they were relieved to hear that the Yukon RCMP has undertaken a forensic audit into the now-defunct NGO’s financial affairs. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Former Many Rivers board members relieved to hear about forensic audit, wonder what took so long

Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed… Continue reading

Whitehorse General Hospital in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. The Yukon Employees’ Union and Yukon Hospital Corporation are at odds over whether there’s a critical staffing shortage at the territory’s hospitals. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
YEU, Yukon Hospital Corp. at odds over whether hospitals are understaffed

YEU says four nurses quit within 12 hours last week, a claim the YHC says is “inaccurate”

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates, Ray Hartling and Mark Lange, have filed a class action against the jail, corrections officials and Yukon government on behalf of everyone who’s been placed in two restrictive units over the past six years. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Class action filed against Whitehorse Correctional Centre over use of segregation

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates have filed a class action against… Continue reading

Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee, right, before question period at the Yukon legislative assembly in Whitehorse on March 7, 2019. The Yukon government announced Oct. 19 it has increased the honoraria rates for school council members. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Honoraria increased for school council members

Members of school councils throughout the territory could soon receive an increased… Continue reading

Triple J’s Canna Space in Whitehorse on April 17, 2019, opens their first container of product. Two years after Canada legalized the sale of cannabis, Yukon leads the country in per capita legal sales. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon leads Canadian cannabis sales two years after legalization

Private retailers still asking for changes that would allow online sales

A sign greets guests near the entrance of the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse on June 11. The city announced Oct. 16 it was moving into the next part of its phased reopening plan with spectator seating areas open at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CGC reopening continues

Limited spectator seating now available

During Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, planning manager Mélodie Simard brought forward a recommendation that a proposed Official Community Plan amendment move forward that would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend, currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
More development in Whistle Bend contemplated

OCP change would be the first of several steps to develop future area

asdf
EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

Most Read