Car Care

7 Fall Car Care Tips

Falling Leaves Can Cause Problems for Your Car. These 7 Tips Will Keep You Running Smoothly!

There are so many reasons to love fall: Campfires, chili, pumpkin spice, and cruising country roads to see those gorgeous leaves of rust and gold. 

October is also Fall Car Care Month. With falling leaves and cooler temperatures, there are new hazards to be aware of when it comes to your car. That’s why we’ve put together these 7 tips to help keep your car road-ready this fall season!

Check Tire Tread and Pressure

Dropping temperatures can lower tire pressure and put you at a greater risk while driving. Underinflation leads to excessive friction and wear, which can cause a blowout. It can also hurt handling, decrease fuel efficiency, and increase pressure on your car’s suspension and chassis, which could mean costly repairs in the future.

Since the tire pressure light typically only appears when one or more tires has lost 25% or more of its air, don’t rely on this light to tell you when you need to air up. Instead, check tire pressure regularly.

In addition to checking your tire pressure, you should also check your tire treads before heading out on a fall road trip. We recommend doing the Penny Test to ensure you have enough tread to drive safely, especially on wet leaves and snow.

doing the Penny Test on tires with FIXD app

Simply insert a penny head-down into the tread of your tire. If you can see Lincoln’s face, it’s time for new tires. It also means 2/32 of an inch is left on your tread, which is the minimum legal limit.

To make car care easier, the FIXD Sensor and free app will keep track of wear items, including your tires and routine maintenance items, for you. 

Check and Top Off Fluids

Change your oil yourself at home and save money

Fluids like engine oil, coolant, washer, and power steering fluid are all important for keeping your car parts healthy and lubricated so you can drive safely. Now is a great time to check these fluids and top them off as needed to prep your car for a fall road trip.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Car Fluids for everything you need to know to keep your car’s fluids flowing like they should.

Turn On Heater and Defroster

Changing temperatures can cause visibility problems on the road. To stay safe and simply ensure you’re comfortable in frosty weather, check your heating and defrosting systems to make sure they’re working properly.

This is especially important if you’ve purchased a used vehicle over the summer and didn’t check to see if the heat was working.

Test Your Battery Voltage

An engine that cranks or clicks but won’t start, dim headlights and electronics, and dash lights that work but the car won’t start are all signs of a weak car battery. The last thing you want is to get stranded with a dead battery on your way to the pumpkin patch, so be sure to test your battery voltage before heading out this fall. 

Take your car to the local auto parts store or use the FIXD Sensor in your driveway to do a quick scan of the voltage level. Make sure the connection is tight and corrosion-free.

Check Lights

2008 Ford Escape headlights in fall

Inspect all lights and bulbs (inside and out) and thoroughly clean your headlights to remove road grit and grime before you get caught in the fog and rain.

Don’t Park under Leaves

Don’t let dried leaves turn into tinder under your hood!

Autumn leaves are beautiful, but they can also do a number on your car. Dried leaves under the hood dirty up your engine air filter and also pose a serious fire hazard. Meanwhile, rotting leaves in your sunroof can clog drains and cause water leaks

Leaves may also contain tree sap, which can stain or damage the finish on your car’s paint. Try your best to avoid parking under leaves and keep your car clear of plant matter this fall. If you can’t help but park under a tree, do your best to follow this next tip and you should be fine.

Give It a Good Wash and Wax

According to The Drive, you should wash your car every 2 weeks. But if you’re like most of the population, it’s probably been awhile since you gave your car a good, old-fashioned wash and breathed new life into that tired old paint job.

Fall is a great time to get back in the routine of washing your car regularly so you can get rid of bugs, road grime, leaves, and sap that can do damage to your car’s paint. 

Get Road-Ready with FIXD

FIXD OBD2 scanner in leaves

From camping to apple picking, there’s so many fun things to do and see this season. FIXD is here to help you have a safe and happy trip wherever you go. Click here to get your FIXD Sensor for only $19.99 + FREE shipping!


Wife, mom, Content Manager & Senior Copywriter at FIXD. From the garage to the gym, I love helping people learn and grow. Dream car: ‘69 Acapulco Blue Mustang.

Kate McKnight
Wife, mom, Content Manager & Senior Copywriter at FIXD. From the garage to the gym, I love helping people learn and grow. Dream car: ‘69 Acapulco Blue Mustang.

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    1. do you keep fix on the car or only when you need it

      1. Hey Lou! Great question. I personally keep mine in the car and plug it in when I have a check engine light or think there may be an issue. You can keep it plugged in if you like to use the live gauges feature or other tools, but I avoid this on any vehicles that sit for a long time without being driven just to avoid any battery drain.

      2. All the time. No battery drain… or little.. about 6 weeks of use.

    2. If I were not driving daily…. I’d unplug. Simple enough to put back in when needed.
      FAIK… the unit doesn’t shut down after ignition is off.

      Other OBD2 units do.

      Correct me… if I’m wrong. Also with Winter coming… I figure its best to pull unit out before really cold starts. My battery is very good… but, I don’t wanna tax it!

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