After a summer of fun in the sun, now is a good time to get your vehicles ready for cooler weather with these fall car care tips.
As always, be sure that your vehicle is properly maintained and if it’s due for a check up, bring it into one of our AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) shops. AAR shops have to maintain rigorous standards to be a part of our program, ensuring that our members get the best service. Members also receive a 10% savings (or $50) on the cost of labor.
In the event of a breakdown, make sure you’re prepared by having your auto road kit up-to-date and fully stocked. If you don’t have one yet, now’s a good time to pick one up.
Premium Traveler Road Kit | AAA member price: $44.99
You’ll also want to make sure your AAA mobile app is downloaded to your phone. If you need emergency roadside assistance, best gas prices, travel planners and more – the AAA app is the tool for you.
Organize Your Car
It’s also a great time to organize and stock your car with items you might need for wet cold weather. Come into your local AAA Travel Store to find great cold-weather gear.
Switch out beach blankets and sunhats for warm gloves, a sweater and a blanket. Winter items can be bulky so save valuable space and pack them inside a compression bag.
Compression Bags | AAA member price $14.99 (for a set of four)
Reusable grocery bags are always handy to keep in your car. After a summer of sticky snacks and sandy beach picnics, now is a good time to wash them: a quick hand wash and line dry works best for most bags.
Need some new bags? Look smart while keeping plastic out of our oceans. Eco-friendly bags from Rock, Paper Flower are strong (hold 50 lbs!) are 100% polyester and machine washable.
Eco-Friendly Bag by Rock Paper Flower | AAA member price: $10.00
Take a few minutes to clean out your glove box. Sort through items, toss anything that’s not needed and wipe down the inside with a damp cloth.
Before you put anything back in – organize maps and paper items – and don’t forget a pen – in a Glove Box Organizer. This organizer from Talus has two front card pockets to store roadside assistance and reward cards and has 7 expanding file compartments that are perfect for holding coupons and vehicle repair receipts.
Glove Box Organizer | AAA member price: $9.00
Cleaning Your Car
Before You Begin
Read your manual. Some of the materials used in cars are sensitive to certain cleaners. If you’re not sure about a cleaner test it out on a small, inconspicuous area before you start the real work.
Before You Vacuum
Most basic vacuum attachments can’t get into the small divots of your dashboard. A can of compressed air can get the sand and grit out of small spaces. Do be careful to follow the directions; if you hold the nozzle of a can of compressed air too close to a surface it can result in flash freezing and permanent damage. (Be careful with your hands as well. At too close a range the temperature can damage your skin.)
Tough to Clean
Car cup holders can be tough to clean… here’s a quick solution:
- Put a sock over the bottom of a glass and spray with all-purpose cleaner
- Place the bottom of the glass (with the sock over it) in the cup holder
- Press down and twist to loosen any dirt, spilled coffee, etc.
- Remove the sock, turn inside-out and wipe away any extra dirt