The winter season has finally come to a close, which means it’s time for spring cleaning, lightening up your wardrobe, and raking those leftover winter leaves and gardening. However, there is another important thing to consider when you’re making the transition from winter life to spring: your automobile.
It hasn’t just been just a hard, long winter for you. Your car has taken a lot in the past few months, dealing with the cold, trudging through snowy roads and salty streets, and slamming down into those most annoying potholes. Therefore, it is important to give it some TLC. This can include both do-it-yourself maintenance as well as professional care if necessary.
Check your tires (even the spare). If you have winter tires, it’s time to store them. Rotation is important for all-season tires, so wear will be distributed evenly for a safer ride and extended tired life. Make sure to check the tire pressure and fill them up if needed.
Remove clutter and trash from your car. Trash and clutter can build up throughout the winter, which can create a hectic and sometimes smelly driving experience. Make sure to check under and in between seats, middle consol, dashboards, and other nooks and crannies to throw out and vacuum up trash, grass and dirt.
Wash your car. This includes not only the exterior, but also the underneath of the car and the inside windows. Salt from winter roads will erode and rust your car, so be sure to rinse all away. You can also wax your exterior once it is completely dry for extra protection and shine.
Read your car manual and follow any recommended service checks.
Check your brakes. If they are screeching, grinding, chattering, or acting up in any other way, be sure to either replace them yourself or take your car into the repair shop.
Get your oil change. Changing your oil on its recommended basis will keep your car running smoothly and ensures a long vehicle life.
Replace fluids, filters, and wipers. Check under the hood to see if any fluids need to be topped off or replaces, including antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid. It’s a good idea to change your air filter at this time and possibly the fuel, PVC, and oil filter as well. Look in your car manual for recommendations. Also, be sure to have a good working pair of wipers on your windshield, as spring is one rainy season.
Test your battery. Car batteries work harder in the winter, so it is a good idea to test the power of a battery when the weather starts to warm up. Replace old and weaker batteries, which will be cheaper than a tow and replacement from the road.
Inspect lights and bulbs. If you notice any that are burnt out, be sure to replace them so you can see the road properly and others can see you.
Check your belts, clamps and hoses. This is an area that may be best left up to the professionals, since it is often difficult to see and reach the belts and hoses under the hood. Make sure they are checked for wear, fraying, and cracking as well as tightly secured.
Inspect your suspension. Potholes take a toll on the shocks and struts of a vehicle, which can cause big problems down the road if left unchecked. Be sure to have these checked and replaced if necessary.