- Visually check the engine area. No one appreciates topping off their oil in icy temperatures, so they fall behind on periodic checks. It's catch-up time. Check your oil, brake and other fluid levels, and top off where needed. Then, check your battery terminals for corrosion. It can be cleaned off with a combination of water and baking soda, and a stiff brush. If you don't have baking soda handy, Coca-Cola does a decent job. Be careful; acid and skin are a painful combination. Better yet, don't stop there; perform a basic soap-and-water cleaning on the remainder of the engine area. Check hoses and belts too. Order replacements for anything that has cracks, especially belts. Putting off small fixes like these can be disastrous and spendy in the long run.
- Kick the tires. Look at your tire tread. If there is less than 4/32 of tread depth on any of them, buy new ones. Also, make sure all of your tires are inflated to their maximum level — and don't forget the spare. Changes in temperature can play with air pressure. In the winter, leaving tires ever-so-slightly underinflated can give you more traction on snowy roads. But once warm weather hits again, you will get noticeably more gas mileage on fully inflated tires. Additionally, they take longer to lose their tread. You should also check your suspension and alignment, and see if your tires need to be rotated. Visit us at Christian Brothers Automotive and we can help you out with this step.
- Replace your windshield wipers. If you live in or traveled through a region with cold winter weather, your windshield wipers took a shredding from scraping it off. Since they should be changed at least once a year anyway for maximum effectiveness, now is when you should start that rotation.
- Clean up the cabin. Mess tends to pile up during the cold months, when no one wants to spend extra time out in the weather, cleaning out their car. As you conduct spring cleaning this month, include your vehicle. A quick dusting job and general tidying up will help you retain pride in your ride. For extra credit, pay for a professional detailing service. You spend a lot of your life in your vehicle; the less chaotic it is, the better you will feel overall.
- Wash and wax your car. Leftover salt splash from icy roads can cause serious harm to vehicles if it's left on long-term. And now that the big storms are over, you might as well make your vehicle shiny again. While you're at it, check that the exterior lights are all in working order, and that none of their compartments have clouded over.
Now your vehicle is all shiny and new-ish again, not to mention ready for a summer road trip! If you find maintenance tasks that are outside your experience range, or come across larger fixes that need attention, call Christian Brothers Automotive and talk to one of our skilled technicians.