If you’re thawing out from the brutal winter that hit much of the country, chances are, your car is too. From frigid temperatures and road salt to potholes and ice, winter can really do a number on your vehicle. Now that the weather is a little warmer, it’s a great time to give your car a checkup. By identifying and dealing with any winter damage issues now, you can prevent small problems from becoming a lot worse – and a lot more expensive. Here are five things you should check this spring to make sure your car is safe and in optimal condition.
5 Easy Spring Car Maintenance Tips
- Tire pressure – Underinflated tire pressure can put your tires at risk for blowouts and overheating, and can significantly affect traction and your steering precision. Since cold temperatures can reduce tire pressure it is important to check all the tires to make sure they are at the recommended levels of inflation. Properly inflated tires can also help you maintain good gas mileage.
- Belts – Freezing temperatures can weaken or crack your car’s belts causing them to break while you’re driving. A broken belt can also damage your engine. Spring is a great time to have your belts inspected and replace them if necessary.
- Windshield Wipers – Snow, ice, sleet, and cold weather can damage windshield wiper blades. Windshield wipers that are in poor condition will cause water to smear, or won’t clear the glass evenly. You may also notice chattering, which is when the blades vibrate across the window. If you notice these or other problems with your wipers, it is time to replace them. Replacing your windshield wipers is one of the least expensive car maintenance tasks.
- Batteries – Starting your car in the winter can drain more energy out of your car battery because the cold weather causes the chemicals in the battery to work slower. It takes more “juice” to get your car going. Test your battery and replace it if it is weak or over three years old.
- Fluids – Lack of certain fluids can lead to costly problems. Now is a good time to check and top off fluids like windshield washer fluid, brake fluids, anti-freeze, transmission fluids, oil, etc. Fluids are relatively inexpensive to buy and replenish.
Investing a little bit of time and money can go a long way in maintaining your car’s safety and performance.