Your car was your most precious companion during the winter months. You didn’t have to freeze out there in the cold or jostle against other people in the crowded public transit.
Well, now it’s payback time. Be your car’s friend just like it was yours, and return the same amount of attention and care you were given. Take it to the doctor. Tend to its wounds, if any. And finally, make it tip-top for the adventures to come during the pleasant time of year.
1) Give your pet a nice and thorough spring bath
Taking a bath isn’t just about fancy and glossy fresh looks. Once the winter is gone, it is crucial to get rid of all the harmful materials such as salt and debris that could damage your car’s body. The best solution is to provide a thorough inspection and an in-depth outside and inside cleaning.
Check for any trails of corrosion around the wheels, where salt tends to stick and gnaw whatever it can. The carpets and upholstery will need some vacuuming to get rid of all the dirt from your shoes. The dashboard will need some waxing, as well as headlights and windows. Also, there must be a ton of seasonal tools in your trunk and other compartments. Get rid of them and make room for something more useful and relevant to the season you’re happily diving into!
2) Lull your winter tires to sleep
Although many motorists disregard this, winter tires are made for winter, and it isn’t just a consequence of the fact that tire manufacturers want us to spend more money. Winter tires were simply made for harsh weather conditions. If you use them in spring or summer, not only will they increase the fuel consumption because they are softer than their summer counterparts, but it may even be dangerous to ride with them. Warmer temperatures will make them wear out quickly (and all of us know they are more expensive than summer tires). Steering will be harder on dry roads, and even your brakes will have a tough time doing their job.
3) Check the engine oil level
As you probably know, oil is crucial to keep your engine running. It lubricates, cools and cleans it. As any technician would tell you, it is highly recommended to check its level once a month and change it every 3-5 thousand miles (your owner’s manual should also provide the exact info in your particular case).
Checking the oil level is no rocket science. There’s an oil life monitor on your dashboard, but you can also do it manually. Roll up your sleeves, open up the hood, find the dipstick. It’s usually colored and easy to spot. After you pull the dipstick out and wipe it off, you will see the highest and the lowest level marks engraved on it. Put the stick back in and after you pull it out again, you will see if the level is fine.
Taking a look at the dipstick is helpful because it will also tell you if the oil is clean (golden yellow) or dirty (black or brown). When changing it, it is absolutely logical to also replace the oil filter.
If you want to change the oil yourself, just follow the owner’s manual to see what kind of oil you should buy.
4) Check other fluid levels
The engine isn’t the only part of your car that needs fluid in order to function. Transmission, power steering, and brakes also need them. There are also coolant and windshield washer fluid. Coolant, transmission and brake fluids normally never get lower unless there is a leak of some kind, in which case you will definitely need a technician’s help.
5) You’ll probably need new windshield wiper blades
They just worked too hard during winter, wiping frozen snow and ice that blocked your view. Spring rains are just around the corner, so you will want the wipers to work perfectly. Wiper blades are not so expensive, after all. You can purchase a new pair for as little as $15.
6) Mind the battery’s health
We tend to neglect our car battery unless it goes dead. Not only harsh winters and freezing are detrimental to your battery’s life, but also hot summer temperatures. In perfect conditions, it would live for 4 to 5 years. But lucky is the motorist who has it working smoothly for three years.
However, weather conditions are not the only culprit for our car batteries’ short life. There are countless technological gadgets that rely on your car battery when you’re on the road. Even though you try to treat it responsibly, it may run out of energy if you have the habit of listening to music when the engine isn’t running.
End of winter is, therefore, a perfect moment for you to buy a new battery if your old one isn’t feeling good.
7) The air conditioner is the last thing you’d think of…
True enough. Why would you have any issues with it if it slept for the last four or five months?
The air flow, the compressor, the wiring… So many things could have gone wrong with this gadget that is supposed to be your savior during hot summer months. If the refrigerant level is low, it needs recharging. However, the situation might be further complicated if there’s a leak… Be it as it may, there’s enough time to do any repair to the AC before summer arrives. But you will want to find out now whether you can count on it as it is or not.
8) “A little Madness in the Spring is wholesome even for the King”
A poet called Emily Dickinson wrote that, but it is more than appropriate for this occasion.
She probably didn’t have cars in mind. But you definitely do, so you should get some super optimistic and sassy spring music in your car for the moment you’ll hit the road! Once you’ve done everything we recommended you, it’s time for some rewarding anyway. Turn the volume up (but not too up, mind you), hit the pedals and ride!
If you are located in Hamilton or Cambridge, ON, pay us a visit so we can check on your pet’s health! You’ll see, we will become its favorite doctor.