Getting Your Car Ready for Spring

February 28th, 2020 by

After months of freezing temperatures, frigid winds, and endless mornings scraping the frost off of your windows; spring is almost here! Sure, you’re ready to shed your winter coat and start enjoying the good weather, but is your vehicle? While modern car companies take seasonal changes into account when designing their cars, it’s never a bad idea to check certain areas for winter wear and tear. Here are our recommendations for things to check as we move into the warmer months.

The Undercarriage and Brakes: Through the colder seasons, your car’s undercarriage and brakes have been exposed to a lot of road salt, dirt, and any number of harsh winter elements. If not taken care of, this can lead to rust and corrosion build-up that eventually cause more issues down the road. While you can get most of the grit and grime off with a typical garden hose, some of those areas are hard to reach and might require heading to a professional car wash.

Tires and Tread: Checking the quality of your tires is a must-do as the weather gets warmer. Cold weather can under-inflate your tires at a rate of 1-2lbs. of pressure for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit. This under-inflation can cause more wear on the treads and can lead to cracks, dry rot in your tires, and can hurt your fuel economy. On top of that, as we get into the hotter months, your tires will start to over-inflate. This fluctuation from cold to hot can increase the chance of a tire blowout. We suggest letting our certified car professionals take a look and make sure your pressure, treads, and alignment are all correct.

Wiper Blades: Your wiper blades might suffer the most when it comes to the colder seasons. All the snow, sleet, and road chemicals will cause your blades to deteriorate much quicker than usual. We recommend changing blades every six months or when you start to see streaks on your windshield, but, if you are unsure if your blades are doing a proper job it’s always good to check before the spring showers start to show up.

Headlights: Your headlights have been through a similar treatment as your wiper blades. Harsh chemicals and salt have become caked, creating a foggy layer on the headlight cover. This will reduce the range and efficiency of the bulb, putting you and others on the road in danger. Replacing headlights and headlight covers can usually range somewhere between $250-$700. Luckily, if you catch the damage early enough, it is manageable. A popular DIY method is to first clean off excess dirt and chemicals using Windex or some sort of cleaning agent and then taking a soft cloth or micro-fiber towel, putting a small amount of toothpaste on it (preferably one with baking soda in it) and rubbing your headlight. This will remove excess dirt and the protective coating, allowing you to apply a fresh sealant.

Battery: With all the strain that cold temperature puts on your engine it’s a good idea to check the battery and make sure the charge isn’t low and that there is no visible corrosion. Most automotive service businesses will check your battery for free so checking this is a no brainer.

Oil and Oil Filter: it’s always good to keep up with your oil and oil filter, but the start of spring might be one of the best times for an oil change given the changing temperature. During the winter months, it is recommended to use a thinner oil. It flows easier in colder temperaments and helps cars startup with less struggle. That being said, winter is still hard on your engine and the oil filter. Changing to the right oil for the season and a new filter now will allow your vehicle to handle those warmer months coming up and allow you to relax with peace of mind.

We hope this guide has will help you be more prepared for the upcoming spring season! If you have any tips you would like to share with us or have a topic you would like to see covered in this series feel free to email us at info@shelor.com or leave a comment below. As always, we hope you have a great day and a safe drive!

Photo by Joel Holland on Unsplash

Read: A Beginners Guide To Exterior Car Maintenance

Main Blog Page