Spring is right around the corner. With the winter months coming to a close, one of the first things you should do is prepare your car for the upcoming spring months. As we all know, winter can be pretty brutal on a car. You have to deal with slush, salt and cold temperatures. Believe it or not, these 3 things can wreak havoc on a vehicle. As spring approaches, it’s a good idea to give your car a thorough once-over to make sure everything is ok and the car is safe to drive.
I’d like to share with you 5 ways to shake off winter and get your car ready for the spring:
Clean The Underbody
Driving during the winter will coat the bottom of your vehicle with salt, sand and other grime that can cause corrosion. Corrosion can lead to even worse problems such as making it dangerous to drive and rust problems. These are two very big no no’s.
You can easily take your car to a local car wash and have the undercarriage washed or just easily do it at home with a hose. If you choose to do it at home and have a car jack available, you can lift up the car some to give it an even more thorough wash. Just keep in mind there’s no need to use soap or any other cleaner.
Check Under The Hood
Open the hood and wipe down the engine with a soft cloth and soapy water. Be sure to remove any debris and leaves you find. Check the battery and remove any crusty white residue with a toothbrush, baking soda, and water. The residue which is caused by corrosion can eventually make it so your car won’t start. Cleaning it will ensure this doesn’t happen and it also prepares the battery for the stress of warmer temperatures.
Check The Tires
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve driven down the road during the spring months only to notice that other drivers aren’t taking care of their vehicles very well: especially tires. It’s very important that you not only check these daily but also prepare them going from cold weather to much warmer weather. Get a wheel alignment or tire rotation. If your tires are really bad off, get new ones.
Buying tires has never been so easy. It is so easy to find a local tire changer that will do the job for you at affordable prices. One great company that comes to mind is Best Buy Auto Equipment. The process is easy and make sure to check out for money saving promotions.
Clean Inside & Out
Salt and sand can damage a car’s paint. Give your car a good cleaning and wax it with paste or liquid wax. Be sure to scrub the bottoms of the door’s as grime can build up there. Window channels should be cleaned as well. Apply a silicone spray which repels dirt and lubricates the surfaces so the windows operate smoothly. I personally use a steam cleaner to keep the interior in tip-top shape. You can also apply a rug cleaning spray to remove all the salt from the car’s inside. Salt can break down some fabrics and cause rips or tears. Be sure to remove ice scrapers and bags of salt from the car’s trunk.
Replace Wiper Blades
Wiper blades get a real workout during the winter. Change them each spring and fall or as needed. Never overuse them as they can eventually do damage to the glass of your windshield.
Top Off Fluids
Top off all fluids if they are running low. The winter months can deplete them a lot quicker than any other time of year. You should change your oil, transmission fluid and brake fluid every 5,000 miles or so regardless of the season.
As long as you do all of these things throughout the year, it shouldn’t cost you very much out of pocket. You can do all of the work yourself if you know how. Don’t let a small problem become a big one. Your car is one of your most used possessions and you should make sure to take care of them.