If you want to learn how to prepare your old car for fall in Jacksonville, FL, keep reading. This is a simple guide for what to do before the weather cools down to ensure your old car runs well and provides the features you need.
Now is the time to begin preparing for changes in the weather that can significantly affect how an old car works and performs on the road. Jacksonville’s fall weather is still pretty warm, often reaching the 80s. So there are a number of things you can do to keep old cars in good working order all year round.
Check the Oil
Although keeping up with oil changes is always essential to extend the life of any car - especially an old car, it is imperative when the temperatures change. That's because oil flows differently when the weather cools down.
It slows down and isn't as effective in keeping the engine running correctly. The oil should be changed from a thicker variety to a thinner one. Check with your mechanic or lube shop to see which version they recommend to ensure the engine doesn't work harder than it needs to during the fall.
You'll also want to change the oil more frequently in an older model car to ensure the engine stays clean and to prevent malfunctions or overheating.
Check the Heat
You'll want to make sure the heat works in your old car before the cold weather moves in. This action gives you plenty of time to make repairs or discover potential problems and address them before they surprise you.
When checking your heat, make sure the defrost feature works. You'll need it to defrost ice and fog from the windshield so you can see. Not having a working defrost feature can be a safety hazard because the visibility through the windshield can rapidly deteriorate while you're driving. Some other things to look for when you check the heat in the car include the following.
- Wet floorboard
- Burning smells
- Lack of heat
If you encounter any of these problems, you'll want to have a certified mechanic take a look at it right away. Some of these issues are serious or can be hazardous to your health.
Keep the Gas Tank Full
If you want to prevent problems while driving, you should keep the gas tank full. The reason is that there's debris and sediment inside the tank that settles to the bottom. Any number of things can accumulate, such as the following.
- Leaves and grass
It would help if you also considered doing a gas cleaner/treatment periodically to ensure you get out all the gunk and debris to keep the fuel system free of obstructions that can cause severe problems for your old car.
Check to see which types of gas you need to use in your car because older cars have different needs. Some gas types today can cause a buildup and ruin the engine over time.
Check Belts and Hoses
Your belts and hoses are essential for your car to run, so you'll want to check them each season and significantly when the weather changes. If they look worn or dry, replace them.
You don't want to have an issue while you're on the road and then wind up stranded. Look for any holes or gaps and if you see them, make sure to replace the part right away.
One of the most common problems people encounter with old cars when the weather changes are dead batteries. If you have an old battery or one that doesn't have enough water or other issues, you'll end up stranded.
Before cold weather creeps in, check the voltage and bring it to the nearest auto parts store to have it tested for problems. These shops usually provide this service for free, and it will help you determine if you need a new battery before something happens.
This type of procedure can determine if the battery charge is insufficient or if there's a short or other problem.
Unfortunately, Jacksonville has a relatively high number of car accidents, so before the fall begins, you'll want to take care of some essential maintenance and check to make sure all the car parts are in good working order. It will help ensure your vehicle runs smoothly and doesn't encounter common weather changes.
However, if your old car cannot be fixed or needs too many repairs, you may need to junk it. If this happens to your old car, we buy junk cars in Jacksonville, and we'll be happy to help you out.