Spring is in the air! No more scraping ice, salty residue or slippery driving. Maybe it’s even time for a road trip. While you might be ready to hit the road in the warmer months, it may be helpful to help your car recover from the cold weather and get ready for the summer.
In order to do that, we put together an inside-out checklist to help your car be in top shape and hit the road.
Inside the Car
Air conditioning. Chances are that you probably haven’t used your air conditioning in a while. Turn it on to make sure it’s still cold. If not, now is the time to schedule an appointment to make sure it’s working so you’re ready when it really warms up.
Brakes. Road salt can erode your brakes, so just do a quick check to make sure they are working ok. Keep an ear out for noises, and watch for unusual brake behavior like grabbing and taking longer than usual to stop.
Emergency kit. It’s always good to have an emergency kit -— in the winter and summer! You never know what you might encounter. An emergency kit can include a first aid kit, flashlight, flares, warm clothing and even food. Check everything over to make sure you have what you need, and ensure items are up-to-date or appropriate for the season.
Under the Hood
Oil level. In the past, changing from “light” to “heavy” oils during the summer and winter was recommended. However, this is outdated information. Just make sure your car has an appropriate level of a quality oil that is suited for your model and mileage.
Test battery. Cold weather can be hard on your battery. Give it the spring cleaning treatment by clearing off corrosion and checking/tightening connections. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection.
Replace filters. Prepare for dustier conditions with fresh filters. Be sure to check fuel, PVC and air filters.
Outside the Car
Lights. It’s always a good idea to check your lights. If any are burned out or weak, replace the bulbs. You can also take this opportunity to clean off bulbs, increasing their functionality without needing to replace them.
Windshield wipers. Getting the ice off your windshield this winter was no joke, and your windshield wipers likely played a major role in helping you clear your field of vision. Prepare for warmer weather by checking to be sure your wipers aren’t damaged and leave streaks as well as topping off the wiper fluid levels (you likely used a lot clearing ice).
Check tires. If you are using winter tires, replace them with normal tires. With temperature changes come changes in tire pressure, caused by expanding and condensing air. Use a gauge to check your tire pressure and adjust as needed.
Wash and wax. Chemicals and moisture from winter weather can put a strain on your car’s exterior paint. Wash away the winter grime, then protect your paint job with a coat of wax.
Bringing in a Professional
Now that you’ve checked your car, you may deem it necessary to bring it into the shop for maintenance. Likewise, maybe you’ve decided it’s been a hard winter, and a thorough check-up is best left to the professionals.
If you need any help preparing your car for warmer months, make an appointment with Living the Dream by calling (339) 237-5151. We’re excited to help you hit the road!