Despite its mixed bag of weather, autumn is an essential time of year for car maintenance and is also the perfect opportunity to get your car ready for winter. It’s a good idea to give your car a thorough once-over now before the cold weather and dark evenings take hold, reducing the risk of an underlying problem turning an evening commute into a nightmare.

Here we provide some tips on taking care of your car during the autumn months.

Check All Your Fluid Levels

When the season arrives, it’s a good idea to get beneath the bonnet and check all your car’s fluid levels, including coolant/antifreeze, engine oil and transmission, and brake fluid. This will provide you with complete peace of mind, so you can drive happily no matter what the season throws your way.

Below, we offer practical steps on how to check your car’s fluids.



  1. Make sure you’re parked on a flat surface, and pop the bonnet.
  2. Locate the coolant/antifreeze reservoir; this is usually an opaque white bottle, with a yellow and black cap.
  3. Check the fluid against the maximum and minimum marker on the tank. If it’s low, top it off and monitor over the next few days to make sure there isn’t a leak in the cooling system.

Transmission Fluid

  1. If your car is an automatic, it may have a transmission fluid dipstick similar to the engine oil reservoir. To check the level, switch on the ignition and warm up the engine.
  2. With the engine still running, remove the transmission fluid dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinsert it. After about five seconds, remove the dipstick again to check the level.
  3. If the level is low, use a funnel to top it up to the fill mark (without overfilling). You may need to replace the fluid if it looks dirty, burnt or is full of particles.

Brake Fluid

  1. Start by locating the brake fluid reservoir. It can usually be found near the brake booster on the driver’s side, close to the bulkhead.
  2. Carefully clean the brake fluid reservoir. Dust and debris can cause the brake system to fail, so it’s important none gets in the brake lines.
  3. Open the reservoir and quickly check the fluid level against the max and min markers. Do this quickly – brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air, and this can cause problems with brake performance.

Tyre Pressure & Condition

With an increase in rainfall and roads covered in wet, slippery leaves, it’s important your tyres are in good condition heading into autumn. Ensuring that your tyres are at the correct pressure and in good condition will help to avoid slips, slides and scary wheel-spin starts during the autumn months – just the peace of mind you need during those rainy school runs.

Start by checking the pressure of your tyres, either at home or a petrol station. Your tyres’ pressure can increase slightly during the summer, so they may need to be deflated slightly to ensure they’re running at the optimum pressure. If one or more of the tyres is noticeably low in pressure, top it up and monitor it over the next few runs. You could have a slow puncture, which you’ll need to get fixed ASAP to avoid a complete flat or blowout.

You’ll also want to look at the overall condition of your tyres. Using a 20p coin, check the tread depth and then check the sidewall for abrasions, which could impact the strength and performance of the tyre. If you notice that the front two tyres are more worn than the rear tyres, consider rotating the wheels to maintain even tread wear.


Wiper Blades

You probably haven’t had to use your wipers much over the summer (we hope), so before autumn sets in, it’s worth giving them a good check to make sure they’re in working order. Look for any signs of abrasion or damage that could lead to visibility issues in heavy rain, and replace the wipers if the rubber blade is worn particularly low.

In the autumn, the sun tends to be low at awkward times of the day – like when you’re commuting home in heavy traffic. That means that you need to keep your windscreen clear to avoid dangerous sun dazzle. Installing a new set of wipers, and making sure that your washer reservoir is always full, will ensure complete visibility no matter what autumn throws your way.

After enjoying the beautiful scenery provided by the autumnal weather in your lovingly-maintained car, the real work begins – preparing for the winter months. Head over to the main car care page here for all the seasonal guides.