Ever notice how after you’ve spent the time washing and cleaning out your car that it just seems to run better?

You’ll get the same feeling after giving it some post-summer attention with preventative maintenance. Only it will run better after a thorough check by the Mopar specialists at your nearby Chrysler Group dealership.

The key to keeping your car, truck or SUV at its peak – for both performance and fuel economy – is to regularly check its critical components and keep things in factory spec.

A few dollars spent on regular maintenance now – and you can find coupons to help cut some cost in the virtual coupon library — can help prevent big repair bills down the road. Also, keep tabs on your car’s service needs and history online at the Mopar Owner Connect.

If you’re just joining us, make sure to read part 1 and part 2 of our fall car-care guide. A check of the Interactive Vehicle Maintenance Guide can help you know where to look for the oil dip stick.

All right, here are the final items on our checklist:

  1. Battery. Remember that first really cold morning last year when you saw a lot of people having to get a jump-start for their car? Don’t get stuck like that. Heat is the enemy of battery life and summer driving is plenty hot. But you won’t know if you’ve got an issue before cold weather returns unless you get the battery checked. Also, check the terminals and connections for any buildup of corrosion.
  2. Headlamps and tail lamps. As fall transitions to winter we spend more time driving in the dark, and seeing pedestrians and potential obstacles is important. But you may not notice a burned-out light from the driver’s seat. Have your Mopar Service specialist check out your lights, or get a friend to help you make sure the headlights, taillights, turn signals, side markers and fog lamps (if you have them) are working. A non-working light could be just a burned-out bulb or a sign of something bigger.
  3. Air filter. For maximum performance and efficiency your engine needs to breathe. A dirty air filter clogs up and restricts your engine’s air intake. Regular inspections and following the change schedule can keep that from happening. It’s especially important if you regularly drive in dusty areas. You can find the change schedule in the maintenance section of your owner’s manual. And don’t forget about the cabin air filter if your car is equipped with one.
  4. Wipers. In some parts of the country this past summer, drivers used their windshield wipers almost every day. In other parts, hardly at all. Either way, being exposed to the elements slowly breaks down the soft parts of your wiper blades and makes them less effective at clearing the windshield and obscuring your view of other traffic. Your Mopar service center carries a full supply of replacement wiper blades, including Beam Blades that maintain even contact with the windshield and resist icing and freezing. Oh, and don’t forget to check the rear window wiper blade if your car has one.

With all the checks complete, you’ll have some peace of mind that your Mopar car is ready for the tailgate parties, shopping mall runs and family get-togethers that make fall a wonderful season.

Who’s ready to go get some fresh apple cider and a donut?