- Get out there and check the treads on the tires–or pull the studded tires out of storage.–and put the chains into the trunk if you removed them for the summer.
- Replace worn out wiper blades, and top off the washer fluid.
- As long as you’re under the hood, check the brake fluid and oil levels, too. If the oil on your dipstick is looking a little dark, it might be time for an oil change, too.
About how often do you change your oil? For years, I stuck by the rule that says to change it every 3,000 miles. (Occasionally I’d let it go until around 5,000 miles and always felt bad about that.) However, The New York Times recently cited Edmunds.com in an article which said that vehicles less than seven or eight years old don’t need such frequent changes.
Apparently, the way oil is refined and engines are manufactured these days have improved to the point where most cars only need oil changes about every 7,500 miles–especially if most mileage comes from freeway driving. The article even states that Jiffy Lube is now under pressure to change its automatic 3,000-mile recommendation.