Fall is finally here, and with it comes the cooler weather. If you haven't taken care of your auto maintenance, you need to do that now. If you have taken care of it already, you need to make sure that you didn't miss some vital steps in the process. You see, simply changing the oil, replacing the windshield wipers, and rotating your tires isn't enough to get your car through the fall and winter months. This is particularly true if you're going to be living through a brutally cold winter. To make sure your car is prepared, here are three steps you shouldn't leave off your maintenance list.

Transmission Service

If you're going to be driving in snowy, or mountainous terrain this winter, you need to have your transmission serviced immediately, especially if you've been putting it off for a while. Your transmission is essential when you're driving in the snow, or mountainous terrain. The last thing you want is to have your transmission slip, or fail completely, while you're trying to get up a hill, or through the snow. To make sure your transmission doesn't fail you this winter, have it serviced before the snow starts falling. Make sure to have your service technician check the condition of the transmission fluid. If it's getting old, it's no longer protecting your transmission properly, which means it could cause overheating. If need be, have your transmission flushed. Not only will this service enhance the performance of your car, it will also extend the life of your transmission. 

Radiator Care

When it comes to preparing for weather changes, simply topping off your coolant isn't enough. You need to start with a clean radiator and cooling system. Schedule an appointment to have your radiator flushed. While you're there, have them check all the hoses to make sure they'll survive the winter. It's also a good idea to have them replace the radiator cap, and inspect the coolant reservoir for leaks. Any minor problems should be taken care of before the weather gets too cold.

Alignment and Suspension

Regardless of whether you'll be driving in snow, heavy rain, or icy conditions, you need to have the alignment and suspension inspected on your car. If you're experiencing problems with either area of your car, it won't maneuver properly in bad weather, which means you could lose control. If that happens, you could suffer serious injuries. Protect yourself, and your car, by having the suspension and alignment serviced before the weather gets too bad.