Get your car ready for cold weather driving before you have a problem. Running a few diagnostics and doing some simple preventative maintenance while the weather is nice can save you some big headaches when the weather turns bad.

Some things you might need

Fall Tune-Up Checklist


Replace Windshield Wipers

Replace wiper blades and top off wiper fluid. Wiper blades go bad due to UV exposure. Fresh wipers are big for winter months. Cold conditions make dirt and water a lot more stubborn, increasing the wear and tear on your wipers.


Check your Wiper Washer Reservoir

Check the washer fluid level. If left unchecked, you may experience iced over or dirty windshield while driving which puts you in a dangerous situation. AutoZone had washer fluid that comes in non-freezing temperature ranges. Visit your local AutoZone store for more details.


Check Your Battery

Cold weather makes your battery work harder to start your car, and it can drain your battery faster. Make sure your battery is in top shape to avoid a problem when the temperatures drop. AutoZone will test your battery for free. Simply drive your vehicle or bring your battery to your local AutoZone store and we will test for free.


Change Your Oil and Filter

It's not just the battery that works overtime in cold weather. Low temperatures make oil thicker, which puts more strain on your engine.


Check and Change Your Coolant

Coolant, or antifreeze, helps remove excess heat from your engine so the engine maintains a stable temperature. It's recommended to flush and fill the system every 60 months in most vehicles. Loosening the drain plug may require a socket, wrench, pliers, or screwdriver. You will also need some distilled water for the flushing process. You can purchase this from a local grocery store. Coolant/Antifreeze is usually easy to see, make sure it's near the MAX line. If not, grab some 50/50 for a top-up.

Advice, how-to guides, and car care information featured on and AutoZone Advice & How-To’s are presented as helpful resources for general maintenance and automotive repairs from a general perspective only and should be used at your own risk. Information is accurate and true to the best of AutoZone’s knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual, a repair guide, an AutoZoner at a store near you, or a licensed, professional mechanic for vehicle-specific repair information. Refer to the service manual for specific diagnostic, repair and tool information for your particular vehicle. Always chock your wheels prior to lifting a vehicle. Always disconnect the negative battery cable before servicing an electrical application on the vehicle to protect its electrical circuits in the event that a wire is accidentally pierced or grounded. Use caution when working with automotive batteries. Sulfuric acid is caustic and can burn clothing and skin or cause blindness. Always wear gloves and safety glasses and other personal protection equipment, and work in a well-ventilated area. Should electrolyte get on your body or clothing, neutralize it immediately with a solution of baking soda and water. Do not wear ties or loose clothing when working on your vehicle.

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