The winter is rough on everyone, but it's exceptionally rough on your car. From salt pelting the exterior to snowy boots dripping on the interior, your car has been put through the ringer this season. Luckily, spring is finally here, which means it's the perfect time for you to get your vehicle looking and running at its very best. If you're not sure where to begin, we've created a list of spring car maintenance tips to help you get the ball rolling.
Start With The Interior
Winter tends to bring out the pack-rat in most people, especially when it comes to their cars. If your car is filled with unneeded items, start your spring car maintenance by cleaning and organizing the interior of your vehicle. To begin, rid your car of any extra winter gear you've stored in the back seat, and don't forget to relocate your ice scraper to your trunk. Before reorganizing your remaining items, take a few minutes to search every nook and cranny of your vehicle for runaway food wrappers and other trash. Once your car is free of garbage, move to stowing must-have items in side pockets and compartments. Loose objects left on the floor or on seats can become dangerous projectiles during a car accident. Finish your clean-up by dusting and vacuuming the interior of your vehicle.
Washing The Exterior
It's time to wash away the grit and grim winter left on your car's exterior. A quick word of warning, washing your car in direct sunlight can leave the paint susceptible to scratches so we suggest finding a nice shady spot before you start scrubbing. Although grabbing the dish soap from your kitchen is convenient, it isn't the best option for restoring your car’s shine. Instead, you'll want to buy a car-wash soap that was created for cleaning the surface of automotive paint. Now all you need is a bucket of water and a clean sponge. It's best to start from the top of your car and work your way down to the tires. Once the water in your bucket is clouded with dirt, replace it with fresh water and be sure to ring out and clean your sponge; otherwise, the grit you pick-up can end up scratching your vehicle. Your last step is wiping your car dry with a soft, clean towel.
Get Your Battery Checked
Winter is harsh on your car, but it's especially rough on your battery. If you notice dimming interior lights, or power windows that are a bit sluggish going down and up, your vehicle's battery may be on the weak side. Getting it checked at the start of the spring will save you from a dead battery down the road.
Inspect Your Tires
Low tread on your tires is dangerous and can turn a routine stop into a life altering accident. If you're not sure your tire tread is up to par, you can perform the quarter test. Take a quarter and place it in the groves of your tires. If a part of Washington's head is always covered, your tires should be safe, however, taking your car in and getting it checked by a professional will ensure your tire tread is truly acceptable.
If you recently got new tires and you're not concerned with the tread, you should still make sure they are inflated to the pressure your car manual recommends. Not only does proper tire pressure increase your gas mileage, but it also makes your vehicle safer.
Get The Belts and Hoses Inspected
Ask your mechanic to take a look at the belts and hoses in your car. A cracked belt or broken hose can cause a number of problems for your vehicle. One being an overheated engine. Getting this looked at during your spring maintenance check will ensure you don't run into any unexpected hiccups during one of your family road trips.
Check The Brakes
Salt picked up by your vehicle during the winter can cause corrosion on certain parts of your brakes. Getting them inspected is crucial to your car's safety, especially if your brakes feel too soft or you hear a squealing or a grinding noise. All three warning signs point to problems that should be taken care of as soon as possible.
Properly maintaining your car is key to it running efficiently and safely. If you would like more springtime maintenance tips, please contact us today and we'll be happy to answer your questions.