After months of ice, snow, road salt, cold, sleet, and all the other travesties that only the winter months can bring, it’s time to get your car up to speed and ready for the warmer, more hopeful months of spring. While it is true that modern cars are specifically engineered to take some really serious beating whether it’s from Mother Nature herself or from man’s abusive tendencies, you’ll still have to perform some basic tasks to get your car up and running for spring. Here are some that are worth a try.
Give Your Car a Thorough Wash
Even during the winter months, you’re supposed to wash your car on a daily basis to help remove grit, grime, road salt, and everything else that can damage the showroom finish of your car in the long run. If you haven’t been faithful enough in adhering to a regular car washing schedule in the chilly months, now’s the perfect time to give your car the much-needed wash that it truly needs.
Don’t forget the underbody as road salt can definitely accumulate in this part of your car. This can lead to corrosion which can have an effect on the overall integrity of your ride.
And since you’re prepping your ride for spring you’d definitely want to pay extra to get all the details done inside out. This way by the time you’re ready to roll under the first rays of sunlight in spring, you’d be driving in style with a brand new-looking car.
Replace Your Car’s Wiper Blades
Your wiper blades can really take a beating in the winter months. They have to work double time to get the snow that is building up on the windshield. By the first day of spring, your wiper blades will already be eliciting a nasty and annoying squeaky sound, not to mention the streaks they leave on your windshield. This is almost always a sign that you’d need to have them replaced. And even if they don’t squeak yet, you’d be doing yourself a favor if you replace them now.
You can always purchase a new pair of wiper blades which you can install yourself or you can always ask a professional to do it for you. However you want it, your winter wiper blades definitely have to go.
Top-up Your Wiper Fluid
We already know that winter can be very unforgiving to your wiper blades. The thick snow that it has to push aside to clear your windshield and give you a much safer view of the road requires more wiper fluid to get your glass clean.
While you can actually top the wiper fluid reservoir with plain water, getting the blue stuff that you can easily purchase at your favorite local auto parts store will be a much better option since it cleans your windshield a lot better.
Change Your Engine Oil
Car manufacturers generally recommend changing the engine oil after every 5,000 miles or so, depending on your car. But you have to understand that the winter months can also take its toll on the performance of your engine. The operational demands on a car’s engine are greater in winter than in other seasons of the year.
As soon as spring arrives, it’s always a good idea to check the level of your engine oil and top it up if necessary. However, most car enthusiasts actually recommend changing the engine oil altogether so you’ll have fresher, more effective lubricant that works exceptionally well in the warmer months of spring and summer. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to change the oil filter as well.
Check Your Tires
Just as winter is very brutal on your wiper blades, it is even more so on your tires. If your car has snow tires, now’s the time to swap them with tires that are perfect for warmer weather. If you’ve got all-season tires on your car, you’d better check their treads and make sure there’s still some tread left. Otherwise, you’d have to replace these, too.
Badly worn tires can be really dangerous on the road while also adversely affecting fuel economy. The correct inflation of your tires should also be ascertained. The arrival of spring is also a good time to rotate your tires and have them balanced. Make sure to include checking the brake pads as well as the rotors.
Don’t forget to check your spare tire, too.
Clean or Replace Your Car Floor Mats
Walking on snow and getting into your vehicle can bring a lot of filth inside. You may have synthetic rubber mats placed on your car’s flooring to help you deal with all the rigors of a really nasty weather, but this doesn’t automatically mean they don’t need some tender loving care in preparation for spring.
As soon as spring arrives, you can yank all of these floor mats out of your vehicle. Give these floor mats a good and thorough cleaning. Now is also the perfect time to decide whether you’re going to stick with the same old, severely abused mats for the rest of the year or get a new set for your feet to step on as you drive.
Fix Dents, Scratches, and Paint Flaws
The body of your car can really take a beating during the winter months. Hailstorms, ice, snow, road salt, grit, and what-have-you can leave scratch marks and dents on your car’s body. The good thing about winter is that people never notice these surface imperfections. However, as soon as spring sets in these surface flaws can turn into ugly eyesores.
Spring is always a good time to repair scratches, dents and paint flaws; unless, of course, you actually don’t mind driving around town in a vehicle that looks like it has just gotten out of Basra or Aleppo. If you’re not convinced about your repair skills, you can always get a pro to do it for you.
The winter months can exact a gruesome toll on your vehicle. You clearly don’t want to roll out one bright and warm spring morning in a vehicle that looks badly beaten. Preparing your car for spring shouldn’t be difficult with the tips we just shared with you.
- 5 ways to get your car ready for spring – USA Today
- 10 ways to get your car ready for spring and summer – Business Insider