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Not only is it pumpkin spice latte season, but it’s time to get your car and truck ready for that transition from summer to winter. As the seasons change, so do your car’s needs. The end of summer is a great time to prep your vehicle for the cooler days ahead, which is why we recommend this fall car care checklist.

Wash Your Car

RIO Car Wash is Virginia’s leading car wash facility and can get those summer bugs off the front of your car, the windshield and side view mirrors. If you don’t get them off they will stain the clear coat and be a permanent fixture to your paint. RIO Car Wash, with locations in Fredericksburg, Richmond and Virginia Beach offer state of art, safe soft cloth washing, combined with specially formulated chemicals from none other than the famous Zeev Josman. Order any of RIO’s packages that contain bug cleaner and those indecent insects will melt off your car. Summer heat also causes your breaks to get RIO hot fall-drive-imageand RIOlly make our rims look ugly. RIO Car Wash is the only car wash in Virginia to use their famous and secret two step frictionless break dust cleaning system. The number one compliment we get is how clean and shiny we make wheels look. Finally, visit RIO Car Wash in Stafford, Virginia and get that car detailed. A good coat of wax will protect your paint going into winter. Soon all the salt and grime from the wintery roads will want to wreak havoc and corrosion on your paint and undercarriage. If it’s not properly protected with a good coat of wax, well you are asking to be Ole Man Winters punching bag. He is such a bully.

And the most exciting news is now everyone in Virginia Beach, VA can experience the same great washing that the rest of the state has been so lucky to have. With two new car wash locations on Lynnhaven Parkway and Indian River Road, RIO has all your wash solutions covered.

And then there are some general tips that you should follow:

Have Your Lights Inspected

The days grow shorter during the fall and winter, meaning that you’ll rely more on your car’s headlights to see you through an evening drive. That’s why it’s imperative to have your lights inspected in the early days of autumn to ensure they’re working properly. This checkup includes headlights, taillights, and running lights, which also helps benefit other drivers on the road. Thankfully, regular maintenance checks at Colwes Nissan include light inspections.

Inspect the Tires

Tires naturally expand and contract depending on the temperature. With the changing seasons, it’s a good idea to have your tires inspected to ensure they’re in good working order for the colder months ahead. This includes having both the tire tread and air pressure checked, as problems with either one of those can cause hydroplaning and additional safety hazards. If you have been planning to purchase new tires for your car, fall is also one of the best times to do so.

Check Fluid Levels

Engine oil, windshield wiper fluid, and antifreeze levels should all be checked at the end of summer to ensure they’re at proper levels. While you can certainly check these levels yourself, fluid inspections and top-offs are included in every maintenance service at Cowles Nissan, so you never have to worry about being low on fluid as long as you keep to your recommended service schedule.

Examine Wiper Blades

In addition to topping off windshield wiper fluid, you’ll need to have your wiper blades inspected at the end of the summer. Windshield wipers tend to take a lot of abuse during the summer months between the summer storms, pollen, and kamikaze bugs, all of which can dull your blades and make them less efficient when you need them most. Windshield wiper replacements are easy and affordable, so whatever you do, don’t overlook this crucial service.

Test the Battery

One of the worst scenarios you can find yourself in as a driver is being stranded in the cold with a dead battery. That’s why having your battery and charging system tested in the fall is a must. Batteries must be in excellent conditions in order to start during cold weather. Having a battery inspection now can help alleviate any concerns that your car will die on you in the middle of winter, which is something nobody wants to deal with.

Test the Heating System

You’ve used the air conditioner all summer long and haven’t even thought of your car’s heating system, but now is the time to ensure it’s working properly. In addition to getting the heater up to snuff, you should also put your cold-weather emergency kit, including an ice scraper and flashlight, in the back of your car.

Get ready for apple picking, football, and the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Until next time keep washing, keep driving.