Winter has passed. (Thankfully!) Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. Now’s a great time to get your vehicle ready for the change of seasons. Here are 5 tips to prepare your car for the warmer weather.
Wash your car.
Get out the bucket, some mild soap and hook up the hose. A thorough washing in the spring is especially important after the colder winter months have passed. Mud, ice, salt and snow all build up and take a toll on your car’s outer surfaces. Be sure to hose down the undercarriage well to remove any caked on road salt. Use a gentle soap made for cars. No detergents. Waxing will also ensure a longer-lasting, rust-free exterior. Why not make it a habit to wash your car routinely this year?
Change your oil.
Your car may be clean on the outside, but how about under the hood? Motor oil is what keeps your engine clean and lubricated. Think of oil as the lifeblood of your vehicle. After your car has been driven a number of miles or months, your oil gets dirty and thick, and no longer does what it is supposed to do. Motor oil technology has changed tremendously over the last 30 years. While some oil change shops recommend you change your oil about every 3,000 miles or 3 months, car experts at Edmonds.com say that is not necessary in almost all vehicles. Read your owner’s manual. Most recommend anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 miles between oil changes.
Check your fluids.
This is an easy way to avoid potentially expensive problems. Which fluids should you check on a routine basis? Be sure to check your oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake and power steering fluids, at least once every couple of months. Don’t rely on the service bay technician. Things happen between visits. Check them yourself.
Rotate, fill and balance your tires.
Rotating and balancing your tires helps ensure even tread wear, and saves you from replacing them prematurely. The majority of vehicle manufacturers recommend that the tires be rotated on the same schedule as oil changes. In most cases that means every 7,500 miles or six months, though some have stretched the oil-change interval to 10,000 miles. Unless you drive fewer than about 7,500 miles per year, you should probably rotate tires every six months or so. Have them balanced when you do. It’s also important to be sure that your tires are filled to the proper air pressure. Properly inflated tires also ensure that you’re getting the best gas mileage possible!
Check your belts.
Your belts are typically checked during your vehicle’s scheduled maintenance visits. Even if it’s not time for your routine tune-up, it doesn’t hurt to ask your mechanic to check the health of your belts, and spring is the perfect time to do it. Cold winter weather, along with freezing and thawing, can weaken your vehicle’s belts. If one should snap while you’re cruising along the highway this spring, you’re going to need a ride home.
Check your wiper blades.
These are one of the hardest-working components of your vehicle. If you can see out the windshield, you’re not safe. Don’t neglect them. Wiper blades should be able to easily clear water, snow and slush. Look them over good. Pick them up and feel them. If they’re cracked, split, torn, brittle, or worn, get yourself a new pair. They worked hard for you all winter replace them if needed. This is one of the lowest cost maintenance items on your vehicle.
Take care of these simple tasks and you and your automobile will be ready to enjoy all the pleasures of the summer safely!
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