Taking Your Car from Winter to Spring
As the seasons change, so does the type of maintenance you need for your car. Flipping from winter to spring means doing some routine preparations to make sure your car is ready to go. The winter is often hard on any vehicle and gearing up for the shift in climate can help your vehicle come out of winter still strong. Here’s a guide to follow as the snow melts and the sun shines.
- Things to check:
- Battery. During the winter months, your battery may have collected a build-up of material (dirt, oil, sludge), and its connections may be a little off.
- Belts and Hoses. During the winter, your engine was exposed to cold air while off and heat while running. This fluctuation in temperature can be particularly rough on your hoses and belts. When you take your car into the shop, have them do a routine check-up on these.
- Brakes. The winter doesn’t necessarily do any damage to your brakes, but if you haven’t had them checked in a while, now would be a good time to make sure they are in tip-top shape for rainy streets.
- Tires. Along with checking tire pressure, you may want to consider a tire rotation and an alignment, especially if it’s been awhile since you’ve done either.
- Wiper Blades. The winter can be hard on wiper blades as well. Since we’re entering a rainy season, it is highly recommended that you check your wiper blades for efficiency and considering obtaining a new set.
- Oil. Oil changes are needed about four times a year. This, fortunately, can be spread out during season changes. After a cold winter, changing your oil will help bring your car into spring in the best way.
- Air Conditioning Unit. Chances are, you haven’t used your air conditioning system over the cold months of winter. If this is the case, your system sat dormant and may need a check-up. When you take your car into the shop for other maintenance check-ups, have them look at your cooling system to make sure everything is in good shape for the warmth of spring.
- Things to consider:
- Interior. You most likely participate in spring cleaning in your home, so why not get your car involved? Over the winter, you track in snow and salt, which can leave the floor of your car dirty and grimy. You can take your car to a specialty shop or clean it out yourself. There’s nothing like having a fresh, clean car.
- Switching Safety Kits. You should always carry an emergency kit in your car, and the items in the kit should reflect the season. Now is the time to review the kit and remove items that are no longer necessary for spring (heavy blankets, warm packs) and put in new items such as an umbrella, raincoat, and rain boots.
- Car Wash. It’s time to get rid of all the salt stains. As the seasons switch, take your car to the local car wash to get your car back to that sleek, shiny look you missed over the winter. While you’re there, consider getting it waxed to make sure rain rolls right off as you drive through spring.
How do you prepare for the transition into spring? What have we left out that may be useful? Leave a comment in the section below!