Spring Maintenance

Winter’s gone, spring is here, yes, we made it through another cold snowy winter. We may still get a blast of so-called wintery weather, however, it is time to think about conditioning your car for the summer months. Time for a bumper to bumper all around checkup to make sure you are prepared for the upcoming season. Unless you like to walk or take mass transit, which, of course, there’s nothing wrong with, however, you own a car, need to care for it, so here are some helpful hints.

Here’s a reminder list to help you pay some attention to these things in your vehicle to make sure they are in need of some service:

Starter Operation, Interior Lighting/Warning Lights, Wipers & Washer System

Heater and A/C Operation, Engine Performance Test Drive

Transmission/Clutch Test Drive, Wheel Balance Test Drive

Alignment Test Drive, Brakes Test Drive, and Visual Inspection

Tires, Shock Absorber/Suspension

Steering Linkage, Exhaust system

Driveshaft & Joints Test Drive & Visual, Radiator (Visible Leaks)

Under Hood Fluid Levels (PS/ATF Coolant/Washer & Brake)

Drive Belts, Battery, Charging System Voltage Test

Engine Mounts, Turn Signals/Flashers, Headlights/Fog Lights

Here now are a suggested top 5 to stay aware of:

Check the Coolant System

Depending on how far north you live, your car’s coolant system doesn’t have to work as hard during winter as it does in the summer. A car engine runs much hotter than the outside temperature no matter how warm the weather gets, but a few degrees can make a big difference. Because of this, you should make sure the coolant system is running well before the heat waves start rolling in.

Check and Add Fluids

Aside from inspecting the coolant system, you should also check all the fluids in your vehicle to make sure nothing’s leaking, the fluids aren’t breaking down, and nothing’s filling up with dirt or metal shavings. You might or might not need to change your oil based on what kind it is, what kind of car you own, and how long it’s been since your last oil change. A spring inspection is a good time to find out.

Re-inflate Your Tires

Not only does the air pressure change during a storm, it also fluctuates with the temperature. This affects your tire pressure, and in any case, air is always leaking out slowly but steadily. That’s why it’s a good idea to re-inflate your tires at least twice per year. Also, if you use winter and summer tires instead of one set of all-weather tires, spring is definitely the time to switch them out.

Wax Your Car

A layer of wax protects the clear coat and paint layers. They are much harder to wear off but also much harder to replace once they’re gone. How long car wax lasts depends on a few factors like how much you drive and whether you park outside or inside, but the rule of thumb is that you should wax your car once per season.

Inspect the HVAC System

One feature you probably don’t use during winter is the air conditioner. When you run it for the first time in spring, make sure you leave it going for a good 10-15 minutes so the system can get rid of any strange smells and start working right again. If that’s not enough to get rid of any odors or something doesn’t seem to work right, you should have a mechanic inspect your car’s A/C and air ducts.

Much like how you have to shower regularly and see a doctor every so often, you need to make sure that your car is clean and working correctly. You should remember to bring it to the shop regularly, so they can perform regular maintenance according to the schedule in the owner’s manual.

 

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