Ready to hit the road for a much-awaited springtime adventure?
But remember: Just as spring revives nature after a harsh winter, you should revive your car by getting it serviced as the seasons change.
Cold temperatures can wreak havoc on the engine’s complex systems and parts that keep your vehicle running smoothly.
Follow these five essential tips to prepare your car for spring:
1. Get a Professional Car Wash
A professional car wash may sound like routine maintenance.
But here’s the thing: Freezing temperatures may result in salt and debris accumulating in your car’s undercarriage and exteriors.
If neglected, it can result in rust or corrosion.
A thorough car wash helps remove the winter grime and corrosive salts from the undercarriage, door jambs, floor liners, etc.
2. Get Your Tires Checked
A cold and wet winter could mess with your tire’s air pressure. Low air pressure may increase your stopping time and affect your fuel economy.
It can also cause your tires to wear out and lose traction, especially if you’ve used all-season tires.
Checking and replacing balding tires keeps you safe while driving, especially in rainy springtime weather. And it never hurts to make sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure.
3. Test Your Car’s Battery
The ideal temperature for your car’s battery is 80℉. Lower temperatures may cause a fully charged battery to lose a third of its cranking power.
It may also affect your vehicle’s starter and alternator and thicken the engine oil, increasing the energy demand to start the engine.
These factors could affect the performance and lifespan of your car’s battery, so be sure to have your car battery tested before heading out for a long drive.
4. Examine Your A/C and Windshield Wiper
Driving without a well-functioning air conditioning system and windshield wipers in the unpredictable spring weather can be a nightmare.
When servicing the HVAC or air conditioning system, ensure your change the air filters, clean the supply vents, and test the thermostat.
And since the windshield wipers take a real beating in the winter, it’s best to replace them.
5. Top Off All Your Vehicle’s Fluids
Freezing temperatures may cause your vehicle’s fluids, like the engine oil, brake fluid, coolant, and windshield fluid, to break down quickly.
The windshield wiper fluid, in particular, tends to dry out faster due to constant use in the winter.
To keep your vehicle running smoothly, check and ensure these fluids are free from rust, dirt, and sludge.