Every season, you need to take steps to ensure your car performs optimally and safely. For instance, many individuals have all-weather tires put on their vehicles for winter. Although the months in spring are warm and pleasant, you still need to prep your vehicle. This checklist will help.
Essential Things to Focus On
Most drivers understand the importance of checking their cars before winter. However, a lot of them don’t realize this is just as critical for spring. After all, your vehicle faced unique challenges such as snow, ice, wind, and cold temperatures. As a result, any number of things could’ve happened to your auto’s components.
Unless you go through this checklist before spring arrives, you’ll never know if there’s an underlying issue.
As spring approaches and road surfaces warm up, drive your car on both city streets and the highway. With the windows rolled up and the stereo turned off, listen for any unusual or new noises. At the same time, pay attention to how the engine performs. Does your car handle well? Does it feel normal when accelerating? If you notice anything, don’t hesitate to take your vehicle to a respected service center.
Winter is notorious for draining batteries. For that reason, you want to check this, too, before the start of spring. In particular, make sure the cables or terminals aren’t corroded. Also, look at the cables to make sure they’re not frayed or cracked. If you haven’t had a new battery installed in five years, it’s probably time.
Oil and Fluids
You might have the oil in your car changed as recommended by the manufacturer. However, you still need to check it as you prep for spring. At the same time, make sure that all fluids are full. That includes the brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and even windshield wiper fluid.
Unless you know how to change the oil or fill the fluid reservoirs, leave the task to an expert. At the same time that you have the oil changed, ask the technician to look at your car’s various filters.
Tires and Suspension
The salt and chemicals applied to roads in the winter wreak havoc on tires. Therefore, it’s common to drive over potholes that can easily damage the tires and the wheels of your car. In addition, jarring movements can cause problems with the suspension.
For your comfort and safety while driving, look at your tires for any possible damage. As for the suspension system, a professional at a reputable service center can check it out for you. While there, the technician can also rotate your tires or put new ones on if needed.
Windshield Wiper Blades
If you live in a part of the country with heavy snow and ice, you probably need new windshield wiper blades. Even if you live somewhere warm, you still want to check them as part of prepping your car for spring. After all, even quality blades only last about a year.
You never want to assume that the brakes on your car work fine. For that reason, have them checked. Also, you likely need new brakes or pads if you notice a squeaking sound when braking. Another sign is when you need to apply extra pressure to the pedal to bring your car to a stop.
It’s also important to check all the lights on your automobile. That includes the headlights, taillights, turn signals, fog lights, parking lights, license plate lights, and brake lights. You can receive a ticket if one or more of them aren’t working. However, this can also put you at risk when driving.
Hoses and Belts
Winter is also hard on hoses and belts. When temperatures drop, it’s common for the rubber components to experience damage. As part of your spring prep, have a certified technician check every hose and belt.
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Here’s to Safe Driving
Following winter, always take time to prepare your vehicle for springtime. If there’s anything on this checklist beyond your skillset, contact Volvo Cars Fredericksburg in Fredericksburg, Virginia, for assistance.
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