Autumn is here and the days are beginning to get shorter, the nights longer and the mercury takes a dip. Before the weather gets too nasty, it’s a good idea to get a few routine car maintenance tasks done so your vehicle will be ready for the coming winter weather.

To be sure you don’t forget anything important, like having your radiator flushed, it’s a good idea to set up a car maintenance schedule to handle the more difficult tasks you can’t, or don’t want to, do yourself.

In the meantime, here are five simple Autumn car care tips you can do yourself to get your car ready for winter:

1) Check your battery

Many seemingly-serious electrical and ignition problems are caused by bad battery connections. If your car is experiencing electrical problems, before you go and do a car search for a new vehicle, inspect the battery for a white fungus-looking growth on the battery posts or cable terminals. If present, mix two tablespoons of baking soap in a cup of lukewarm water, apply the solution to the terminals with a wire brush and scrub lightly. Once clean, try to wiggle the terminals; if there is any movement loosen the terminal bolts with wrench and repeat the cleaning process. Replace the terminals and tighten until snug.

2) Air filters

At a minimum, your air filters should be replaced every six months, before they reach the point where the lack of oxygen reaching your engine causes a drop in fuel economy and performance. Fortunately, replacing your engine’s air filters is a simple job you can do without tools and replacement filters costs only a few dollars. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions.

3) Wiper blades

One of the best Autumn season safety tips is to replace your wiper blades. Once the weather changes, and stopping distances increase, it is oh-so important to be sure you can see clearly. If you live in part of Australia that experiences heavy snowfall, it is cheap insurance to invest in a pair of “winter” blades, which have a specially-designed boot that prevents snow and ice from building on the blade. Don’t neglect this easy task, as you generally use your wipers much more during the Autumn and winter.

4) Tyres

Before Winter starts it’s always good to perform a quick inspection of your tyres to see if you need a new set, or if your current ones will make it a while longer. Tyres are ready to be replaced when the tread has worn down to 1.6mm, and it is easy to know when that is by checking the “wear bars.” These indicators are narrow strips of smooth rubber running across the width of the tyre. The wear bars don’t show until the tyre has reached the end of its life.

5) Headlights and tail lights

Visually inspect your lights for any cracks in the lenses and burned out bulbs. If you find any out, car lights are typically easy to replace, without tools, by following the instructions in your vehicle owner’s manual. You can easily and professionally clean cloudy lenses yourself with one of several off-the-shelf cleaning kits.

Do you have any other tips to add to this list? Please share in the comments below.

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  • My biggest tip would be to have an RACQ Membership for those roadside emergencies


  • it is always a good idea to keep on top of maintenance whether it is in regards to your car or home etc. A stitch in time…..as the saying goes


  • Some very sound advice here for any time of the year really. We are so reliant on our cars, should value them accordingly.


  • I wish my daughter would do the small maintenance jobs. She just drives and drives her car and then gets upset when it breaks down


  • I have regular car servicing so don’t feel the need to do any maintenance checks in between.


  • Great tips. We’ve often our car check done before the rego check.


  • GREAT TIPS but regular checks should be done. Brake, blinker, headlights etc can go at any time.


  • Thanks for the tips but l leave it up to my partner who knows best!


  • Great advice and tips that you have offered.


  • I think I am pretty good at this


  • some really good tips here! Thank you for sharing~


  • Some great tips here!
    I get my car serviced every 3 months & once a fortnight my partner gives it a quick look over to make sure everything is up to date.
    I’ll be showing him these tips in case he doesn’t do any of these.
    Thanks for sharing :)


  • Thanx for the very handy tips.. I didn’t know about the wear marks on tyres but now I’ll be checking mine!!


  • Always ensure you listen to your car, if it sounds not right! It will not be!


  • I tend to have regular car services and am happy with the maintenance of my car based on that.


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