In case you’ve missed the pumpkin spice, emerging flannels and Halloween goodies popping up everywhere: Fall is upon us! September 22 is the official first day of fall and while we’re already excited about everything that fall brings, this time of the year can also bring some road hazards with it.

Here are some ways you can prepare your vehicle for fall so that you and your ride can make it through the fall festivities with ease:

  1. Check your windshield wipers – Fall can be very rainy by nature, so effective windshield wipers are paramount. However, wipers that simply work move back and forth aren’t going to cut it during this season. It gets dark earlier, and it’s more likely to be foggy or gloomy this time of year. For your car this means more headlights shining at your windshield and if it’s streaky from wipers that are overdue for a change then your visibility instantly drops. If your wipers aren’t leaving your windshield squeaky clean, then it may be time to change them.
  2. Check your tire tread – A wet, rainy season paired with fallen leaves can leave an unexpected slip hazard. Place a penny upside down between each of the treads. If you can see Abe’s head it may be time for new tires. When in doubt, ask a certified mechanic.
  3. Inspect your headlights and taillights – It gets darker earlier this time of year, and the deer population is rising. Make sure your lights are all in working order and clean so that you can see any potential hazards on the road clearly, and so that anyone else on the road can see you as well.
  4. Top off fluids and get an oil change – Temperatures vary greatly during the fall. They can dip very low during the evenings and mornings yet be warm midday. If your vehicle’s fluids are not clean and at proper levels this can keep them from doing their job to keep your car running smoothly.
  5. Have your breaks checked – Between morning frost, rainy conditions, fog, deer, fallen leaves and school traffic, it’s imperative that brakes that are in good working order. Squeaks and vibrations are common signs that new brakes are in order. As always, when in doubt ask a certified mechanic.

Fall is a beautiful time of year in Upstate New York, and with the brutal winter still a couple of months away, it can be overlooked in the vehicle maintenance department. Make sure you have a safe and happy fall by not forgetting about your car’s needs this September.