Now that the summer season is over, and vacations are done, and the cooler weather has started, take some time to get your favorite vehicle ready for the winter months. Keeping your vehicle in shape will save you big money in costly repairs later. Here are some of the things you can take a look at.  

Check all your engine air filters. If you have any engine problems now, the colder weather will only make them worse. Replace dirty filters air, fuel, PCV, etc. 

In places like California and the southwest, ice in the fuel line shouldn’t be a problem but in other areas where it really gets cold it matters. If you live in a colder area, put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note, too, that a gas tank that’s kept filled helps prevent moisture from forming in the first place. 

Changing the oil and oil filter in your car is a good idea any time of the year. Oil changes should be done every 3,000 miles to keep your engine in good shape. 

The cooling system should be flushed and refilled as recommended. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. Usually a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is the normal mixture. Just remember to let that engine cool down before you try to remove the cap.  

It’s a good time to check your windshield wipers. Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent you’ll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.  

Make sure your battery is in good shape. Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. 

Many of these checks you can do yourself but it’s always best to take your car to a qualified mechanic to be sure things are done right.