How to Get Your Car Ready for the Season
From road salt and potholes to rust and dirt, winter can be tough on even the most well-looked after cars. Spring offers the perfect opportunity to check in on their performance and stay ahead of any potential issues. When you give your car a little TLC in the spring, it goes a long way toward combating the ill effects of winter. From our team at J.J.'s in Waldorf, add these steps to your spring checklist to improve your car's condition and give it a fresh new start before summer.
Inspect and Rotate Tires
Tire maintenance is essential to keeping your car traveling safely. When warmer weather rolls around, be sure to check your tire pressure and fill tires according to your car's manual. If your tires have not been rotated in the last 5,000 miles, have them checked and rotated so that they wear evenly and handle well on the road. If the tread is looking too worn, it may be time for a replacement. Don't forget your spare tire as you complete your spring maintenance.
Don't Neglect Brakes
Just like tires, brakes are vital in keeping you safe – and they aren't something you should gamble with by waiting until you hear a squeak. Pads and rotors wear with use and exposure to the elements, so have your brakes checked by a knowledgeable mechanic in the spring to make sure they are functioning effectively and no parts need to be replaced. When you catch brake issues early, it protects you and your passengers and saves you from more costly repairs down the road.
Change and Check Oil
You should change your oil every 3,000 miles or every three months. However, you should also do a self-check between each change. To keep your car's engine performing at its best, follow the oil and filter change recommendations in your owner's manual. Maintaining peak performance is the main objective but keeping up with oil changes will also keep gas mileage at its optimum and prevent expensive damage to the car's engine.
Check Out Fluids
Springtime is a great time to get that oil and filter change, however, other fluids should be checked as well. Windshield washer fluid will likely need to be filled, as well as power steering fluid, brake fluid, and coolant. Experts also suggest a transmission fluid flush to get your car tuned up for spring. When this task is put off for too long, it can cause damage to the transmission and cost you thousands of dollars.
Protect Alignment and Suspension
The perils of winter create many bumps along the way. Precipitation and freezing temperatures cause cracks and potholes in our roads, which wreak havoc on our vehicles' alignment and suspension. An alignment is a relatively inexpensive chore that you will be glad to have done. If you have noticed a vibration in the steering wheel or the car pulling to one side as you drive, it is definitely time to check alignment.
Test the Battery
The winter weather is hard on your car's battery, so you will want to make sure it is in top shape heading into spring. If you haven't replaced your battery in at least five years, your mechanic should be able to tell you if it is time for a new one. Be sure to have them check the battery mounting and connections as well to make sure they are free of corrosion and functioning properly.
Inspect Windshield and Wiper Blades
One of the unfortunate effects of salt and gravel on icy and snowy winter roads is damage to our cars' windshields. Bits of gravel and rock salt are often kicked up by passing motorists. As they hit your windshield, they can cause chips and cracks. Unfortunately, even the smallest damage to the glass can have detrimental effects if an accident occurs. If you find any cracks or chips, have them repaired immediately. While you're at it, be sure to replace your wiper blades. If they are showing any signs of wear, it's a good time to replace them before the rainy season starts. You'll definitely notice the difference between new blades and old ones that are torn or cracked.
Clean Off Winter Salt
The salts we use to keep roads clear in the winter can build up underneath your car and cause rust and damage. Though many of us love getting outside and washing our cars in the spring, handwashing isn't enough to clear our cars of winter grime. If you hand wash your car at home, be sure to take it to a commercial car wash after where you can get the undercarriage cleaned and clear out salt and muck from winter roads.
Contact J.J.'s Auto Service Center Today
As you prepare for the warm days ahead, consider these spring maintenance musts. The best way to ensure a safe and reliable summer ride is to get a complete tune-up from J.J.'s Auto Service Center in Waldorf, MD. View coupons we have available and be sure to reach out to us today to set up an appointment with our local Waldorf, MD mechanics.
Image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay