Spring Maintenance Tips For Your Car
Spring is finally here, and for many car owners, that means doing some preventative maintenance. As harsh as the frigid and icy months of winter can be on your car, the hotter months of spring and summer aren’t always much better. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to prepare your car for warmer weather that won’t cost much money or time.
Protect Your Interior
Spring means the beginning of longer, sunnier days. That’s good news for you, but not-so-good news for your vehicle and its interior. The sun can cause your car’s interior to become faded, and if you have leather seats, prolonged sun exposure could even lead to cracking and other damage. Protect your car’s interior by making an effort to park in the shade, utilizing a windshield shade, installing seat covers, and using a conditioner specifically designed to keep interior materials from cracking or becoming otherwise damaged.
Have Your Alignment Checked
As the weather warms and the ground thaws, potholes are likely to become an issue. This is most common during late winter and early spring. Unfortunately, those potholes can damage your car’s alignment. Consider bringing your vehicle into a tire shop at some point in the middle of spring to have your alignment checked and corrected as needed. Some tire shops will even offer lifetime alignments if you pay a one-time fee or have a new set of tires installed by them, so consider looking into these kinds of offers as well.
Wax On, Wax Off
Whether you prefer to wax your own vehicle or would rather leave it up to the hands of skilled professionals, the fact remains that waxing your car sometime in late March or early April is a great way to protect it from spring rains. Not to mention, waxing your car now will make it much easier to wash the next time it gets dirty, and who doesn’t love the shiny, like-new look of a car that’s just been waxed? To avoid streaks, make sure to properly hand wash and polish your car.
Replace Wiper Blades
The last thing you want is to have worn-out wiper blades in the middle of a spring downpour. It’s generally a good idea to replace your car’s wiper blades at least once a year — and what better time to do it than early spring? Doing so will help ensure you have the best possible visibility while you’re behind the wheel, no matter how heavy the rain may be falling. Not to mention, changing your wiper blades is cheap (you can easily buy a new pair for about $20) and it takes only a few minutes of your time.
In addition to replacing your wiper blades, you may also want to consider applying a protective spray specifically designed for use on car windshields. These kinds of products, when applied, will help rain droplets roll right off your windshield, thus further improving visibility.
Top Off Fluids
Spring is also a great time to check all your car’s fluid levels and top them off/change them as needed. This includes not only your oil, but your windshield wiper fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, etc. If you’re due for an oil change and plan on bringing your car into the shop to have this done, there’s a good chance that the technicians will automatically check and top off your fluid levels as a courtesy.
In addition to topping off and changing any necessary fluids in your vehicle, now is also an ideal time to check your filters (especially your air filter) and change those as needed. Your air filter will be getting a lot of use in the upcoming months (as you’ll be needing your air conditioning a lot more frequently), so it’s important to have a clean filter for maximum efficiency.
By taking the time to complete these spring maintenance tasks on your vehicle, you can get it prepared for the warmer weather. From there, all that’s left to do is decide where you’ll take your first spring/summer road trip!
Marcel Manzano serves as Department Manager of Digital Marketing & Graphic Design for STA-BIL® brand. Marcel is a long-time car enthusiast who has a special place in his heart for American muscle cars of the late 60’s and early 70’s. In 2010, he created Cool Rides Online, an online community for people who love cars and continues to be heavily involved in the collector car and the automotive aftermarket scenes.