We can finally start looking forward to spring and summer road trips and having an easier time driving. But remember to do some spring car maintenance to help you prepare for the new driving challenges that spring brings, like melting snow, rain, and pedestrians.
Follow these tips to get your car ready for spring:
Take off your winter tires
Some regions have mandatory dates for when to take off winter tires, but you should generally switch your winter tires for summer or all-season ones when temperatures are around 7 degrees Celsius.
All-season and summer tires are more rigid and do better in warmer temperatures. They are designed for driving on ice-and snow-free roads while winter tires are too soft for warmer weather and will wear out quickly.
Make sure to wash your winter tires before you put them in storage to prevent corrosion from salt. Store them in a dry, cool place.
Wash off salt
Road salt can cause rust on the body and undercarriage of your car so take your car to the car wash. Most car washes will spray underneath your car and remove the buildup of grime from the winter months.
Check the brakes
Making sure your brakes are in top shape is an important part of spring maintenance for your car. Neglecting the brakes is a safety issue and will lead to expensive repairs later. Have the brakes, including rotors and pads, inspected, and repaired by a mechanic.
Top up fluids
Check your owners’ manual and see if any fluids need to be replaced. Cars generally need an oil change every 8,000 to 16,000 km. Also, check transmission, coolant, brake, and windshield wiper fluids. You can take your car to the shop and have all the fluids checked and topped up at once. Replace the windshield wiper blades while you are at it.
Change air filters
Most vehicles have a cabin air filter and one for the engine. Both should be replaced in the spring to avoid allergens, dust, and poor airflow or a reduced ability for the engine to adequately mix fuel.
Fix alignment issues
Ruts, potholes, and snow-covered curbs cause wear and tear on the suspension and can cause problems with wheel alignment. Have a mechanic do an alignment check – a service that some dealerships and tire shops offer for free – and then get an alignment done if needed.
Check the lights
Make sure all of your car’s lights are clean and working. Check the:
Daytime running lights
Low beams and high beams
Test the battery
Your battery may need replacing after the temperature fluctuations of winter. Most batteries last 3-5 years, so if yours is approaching that age, rent a battery load tester to find out if you need a new one.
Even serpentine belt systems need replacing eventually and winter roads can damage the belt. Check it for cracks or missing ribs and have it replaced if there is damage.
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