It’s Been a Long, Hard Winter. Give Your Car Some TLC This Spring
April 21, 2016
The spring maintenance you do on your car will depend on your winter maintenance routine. In Canada especially, it’s important to maintain both the interior and exterior of your car because winter conditions can be very unforgiving. When spring arrives it’s time to give your car some TLC, focusing on these areas:
Spring Exterior Maintenance Tips:
– Wheels: Replace your winter tires with summer tires as soon as the temperature is regularly above five – 10 degrees Celsius. The warmer roads will quickly wear down the soft rubber of your winter tires.
– Suspension and alignment: Canada is not known for smooth roads, especially during the colder months. Driving through potholes and bumps in the winter can change your alignment or damage your suspension. Book a wheel alignment and check springs and shock absorbers in the spring.
– Fix paint chips: The winter is brutal on your paint with stones and salt that can chip away at your coat and do a lot of damage. Get those chips washed and covered up with touch up paint so they don’t rust over the summer.
– Protect your paint: Use clay barring and wax to protect your car’s exterior. While polishing will make your car very vibrant, it usually removes a thin layer of clear coat and wears away your paint faster. Using a clay bar is less invasive, it smooths the clear coat instead of stripping it away. It also removes light deposits that are in the clear coat such as rail dust as well as the previous wax. Any sediment left in the coat can actually sink in and eat away at your paint.
– Wiper blades: Change your wiper blades to summer blades. Winter blades use softer rubber because the cold temperature makes them harder, so you want change those out to a harder rubber during the warmer seasons so they won’t streak as much and you’ll get better contact with your windshield.
Spring Interior Maintenance Tips:
– Battery: Check your battery connections, plugs and wires for corrosion and replace any cracked rubber casings. Grease your battery terminals and clear away any salt that might eat into the metal contact points.
– Fluid levels: In spring you should always check your fluid levels such as coolant, oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, washer fluid as well as your radiator fluid, especially with the hotter summer temperatures ahead. While checking your fluids, remember to check your hoses and belts, not only for any leaks but because they can dry and crack during winter.
– Filters: Every season you should check your cabin and intake filters because they can collect a lot of dust, but especially in the winter because of all the salt and dirt on the road. It’s usually best to replace the cabin air filter once a year and spring is a good time to do it. A great way to check to see if your intake filter needs to be changed or just cleaned is to hold it up to the sun, if you can’t see through the filter, replace it, but if some light shines through, then a good dusting is all it needs.
– Car mats: If you used rubber winter mats, it’s a good idea to clean and change those out for your summer mats, also cleaning your interior carpets of any winter salt buildup.
– Breaks: Check your brakes for wear and tear on the pads, rotors and brake lines. During the winter months you can pick up salt and dirt between your pads and calipers, which will not allow the pads to retract completely when the brakes are released. Also your caliper pistons can stick, so remember to get those lubricated.
Spring maintenance is an important step to help keep your car in good working condition. Book your spring maintenance appointment now and give your car the care it deserves after a long, hard winter.
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