Winter can be brutal on vehicles. You might enjoy waking to a fresh blanket of snow on the ground and the sense of calm that it brings, but your car does not. Even for those that are fortunate enough to live in a warm weather state, the roads are wreaking havoc on your vehicle all winter long.
By the time winter ends, your car has likely suffered, or is suffering, from loss of tire pressure, accumulation of road salt on your brakes, wheel out of alignment, car covered in a mixture of leftover snow, grime, and salt, upon other problematic findings. To help get your car road-ready again for the spring, complete a check up using the following list.
- Start by giving your car a good wash, making sure to focus on the underneath. This will help to get all of the dirt and sand off of your vehicle’s exterior and undercarriage. This is especially important for people who live in snowier climates.
- Spring is a great time to declutter and clean out the inside of your car. You can put away the snow scraper for a few more months and maybe take some of that emergency cold weather gear out too.
- Winter is hard on a car’s battery so make sure to test your car’s battery and replace if necessary.
- Inspect your tire pressure and tread. You might consider realigning and/or rotating your tires as well.
- Your shocks and struts take a beating from all of winter’s potholes. Make sure that you have them checked (and replaced if necessary) to avoid worst damage to your vehicle.
- Exhaust leaks are a bad sign. Make sure you are testing your exhaust system and contacting a mechanic right away with any issues.
- Spring brings with it rain and storms. Make sure you have a good set of wiper blades on your car and plenty of wiper fluid.
- Help yourself and your car out and replace the cabin filter if you haven’t already done so. As a bonus, this will help to combat those spring allergies.
- Your lights and mirrors might have some lingering dust and winter debris on them. Examine mirrors and lights by looking closely for any cloudiness or visual obstructions. If necessary, clean both thoroughly and replace your car’s bulbs.
- Seasonal shifts are a good time to check in on your vehicle’s fluid levels (oil, transmission, coolant, and brake fluid). Look for any corrosion and make sure that all fluid levels meet the minimum limits.
- It’s likely that it has been a while since you last used your air conditioner. It’s a good idea to test it now so that you know it will be working when you really need it in a few months.
- Look for any paint chips/damages that might have been hiding under the winter grime. See that these are fixed before they become any worst.
Additionally, make sure that you are aware of any upcoming renewal dates. These can include but aren’t limited to your insurance policy renewal, license registration, and oil changes.
We understand that car maintenance is likely the last thing you want to add to your to-do list but dedicating an hour to do a walk though will ultimately save you time in the long run. The alternative is sending your car to the shop and having to pay for a rental.