If you’re like us and reside in an unfortunate area that is pelted with freezing temperatures, snow and the inevitable potholes, you’re more than ready for dry roads and windows down cruising. We can put thoughts of preparing for Winter driving away and look forward to sunnier temperatures. West coasters, you can look away. We’re jealous of you and your year-round enjoyment of mild and warm temperatures.
Potholes and winter debris can give your car a beating after so much, making April a pivotal time to take care of maintenance and dust off the salt stains and slush caked onto your vehicle.
First and foremost, a good Spring cleaning will do wonders. Not just for looks, but regular baths and coats of wax will begin to build up the clear-coat’s resistance to harsh winter temperatures and road debris. A proper hand wash and wax will not only leave your paint buttery smooth, but will also protect it for three to six months from harsh UV rays.
Though this can be done at any point during the year, Spring is a great time to make sure fresh oil is running through your car’s engine, and can be the biggest return on investment to ensure things run properly and are well lubricated. Oil filters are a good thing to check, too. Dirty oil filters may wear engines prematurely, so a fresh one can do wonders for longevity. Always be sure to keep track of the manufacturer’s recommended change interval.
Spark plugs are another good thing to take a peek at and make sure are running in good condition. Most spark plugs are designed for 100,000 miles, but they can fail early, especially if they become dirty, most likely thanks to old man Winter. Checking clamps, belts and hoses are an easy eye-ball and should be tightened and replaced as needed, along with other various engine pieces.
The biggest component most likely to take a hit is your car’s suspension. Even though cars are rigorously tested for harsh road conditions, mechanical parts still fail. Particularly when locals cities are slow moving to fix up damaged roads, and portions become impassable. Make sure components like struts, shocks, tie rods and bushings are in working order so you can enjoy what Spring and Summer has to offer as driving season hits its stride.
If you’re an at-home mechanic, those things should be fairly easy, but for more common drivers, they may need professional service to help take care of maintenance. There are more than a few things you can do at home to make sure your car is well taken care of after Winter driving, though.
You can check your car’s sunroof to make sure the seals are still in tact and won’t leak when thunderstorms and rain return to the weather pattern, check the battery to ensure proper charging is occurring, replace your vehicle’s cabin air filter and you can even clean the radiator of Winter debris with a garden hose. All very simple things that can add up if not properly maintained.
With all of that said, we’d like to hear from you. Do you have any special Spring cleaning routines for your vehicle? Whether it be service, a good detailing or the addition of new parts, let us know what you like to do to shake off the Winter lull from your vehicle in the comments down below.