After the snow and ice that winter brought to many parts of the country, you are likely overjoyed at the thought of sunshine and warmer weather. With warmer temperatures, people are more eager to get out and about. This means more trips to the park and maybe even a family vacation. As you prepare for the upcoming heat of summer, it is important to ensure that your car is in tip-top shape.
The harsh winter weather was probably not kind to your car, wearing down various parts of the system. There is no better time than the spring season to perform a maintenance check.
Here are a few spring car care tips to keep your car running smoothly all season long:
1. Wash the car.
For those parts of the country that see wintry weather, salt is used as a way to melt snow and ice to make the roads safer to travel on. Although salt is crucial for safe winter driving, it also can cause damage to vehicles, overtime. The most common result of leftover salt is rust. This is why it is highly recommended that you wash the exterior, especially the undercarriage, once winter has ended. Remove all dirt, grime, and other debris. Then, apply a wax to protect the paint.
Learn more about How To Clean A Car.
2. Check the battery.
Extremely cold temperatures can affect how your car performs. The battery is one car component that must work harder during the winter season. When you turn the key in the ignition, the battery must use all it has to start up. You need to take your battery to get tested by a car service professional to make sure that you are not left stranded. If your car’s battery is three to five years old, it is probably time to think about replacing it.
3. Inspect the windshield.
Have you ever been driving and a rock hit your windshield, causing a slight crack? The winter weather could have caused this crack to get bigger. Although windshield damage caused by flying debris is not uncommon, these cracks can be dangerous. They can affect your safety and security during an automobile accident. Therefore, it is very important to get them repaired.
Below freezing temperatures can cause cracking and wear on the windshield wipers. These wipers are crucial for visibility while driving, especially since spring is known for its rain showers. Make sure that the windshield wipers are in good condition. The recommended interval for replacement is six months to one year.
4. Check the oil.
Changing the oil and filter at regular intervals is a very important part of car maintenance. Engine oil keeps the entire system running as it should. Over time, the oil can become polluted with dirt, dust, and other debris, which can have detrimental effects on the engine and on fuel consumption. Sadly, oil changes are one of the most neglected car maintenance tasks. Consult your car maintenance manual to see what type of oil you should be using and how often it should be changed.
5. Check the fluids.
As with oil, you should check the fluids in the vehicle. This list is relatively extensive, including windshield washer, power steering, brake, and transmission fluids, along with coolant. Check to ensure that all of these fluids are filled to the appropriate levels. These fluids are all necessary for the longevity of the car.
6. Check the tire pressure.
The air pressure plays a role in tire pressure. The colder winter weather may have caused the pressure of your tires to decrease, producing underinflated tires. Underinflated tires can increase the risk of premature wear and could even result in a blowout. It is important to keep all your tires, including the spare, properly inflated according to the owner’s manual. This is crucial for optimal drivability.
7. Inspect the lights.
Check all the lights, inside and outside the vehicle. If a bulb is burned out, replace it as soon as possible. Lighting is important to portray to other drivers your intention to stop or turn, as well as just make them aware of your presence. Not only is it crucial for other drivers, lighting is important for your own safety and visibility, especially during bad weather and at nighttime.
8. Check the belts and hoses.
The winter could have caused damage, resulting in cracks or leaks, to your car’s belts and hoses. Take your car in to a local mechanic, so that the condition and tightness of these components can be inspected. The belts and hoses should be inspected for any signs of wear, and then, replaced, if necessary.
9. Get an alignment check.
Roads can be hard on your car, any time of the year. Driving on poorly maintained roads with potholes or hitting a curb can have negative effects on your car’s alignment. This shift in alignment can cause uneven tire wear, impacting how your car operates. Pay attention for signs of wheel alignment issues, such as the car pulling to one side or squealing tires. When you take your car in to get serviced, ask your trusted mechanic to take a look at the alignment.
10. Inspect the brakes.
The brakes are one of the most important, if not the most important, part of the car. Without them functioning properly, safety would be compromised. Screeching or grinding noises, along with vibrations in the steering wheel, are signs of brake problems. Get your brake pads and rotors checked to ensure that there are no issues. You will be happy you did.
Ready To Travel?
After you have completed these spring car maintenance tasks, your car is now ready for the perfect vacation. If you dread the thought of long road trips, auto transport provides the perfect solution to get your car to your destination. Ship your car for a vacation to save you time and stress.
National Dispatch can ship your car anywhere in the country. Use our free, instant car shipping calculator to get a car transport quote. No personal information is required. If you prefer to speak with an auto transport representative, call us at 800-321-2051.