- Visually inspect the engine area. No one likes topping off their fluids in icy temperatures, so they fall behind on periodic checks. It's catch-up time. Check your oil, antifreeze 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 on hand, Coca-Cola does a decent job. Be careful; acid and skin are a painful combination. It isn't a bad idea to take some soap and water to the rest of the engine area. Check hoses and belts too. Replace anything with cracks, especially belts. Prevention is cheaper and safer than waiting for a moving part to break on the road.
- Inspect your tires. Check out the tread of your tires. If there is less than 4/32 of tread depth on any of them, buy new ones. In addition, check that all of your tires are inflated to their ideal level — including the spare. Changes in temperature can affect tire air pressure. In the winter, leaving tires slightly underinflated provides more traction on wet roads. But once warm weather hits again, you will get measurably more fuel efficiency on fully inflated tires. Furthermore, they take longer to lose their tread. You should also check your alignment and suspension, and see if your tires need to be rotated. Visit us at Christian Brothers Automotive and we'll get you taken care of.
- Replace your windshield wipers. If your car had to contend with snow this winter, your windshield wipers took a beating from scraping it off. Since they should be changed at least once a year anyway for maximum safety, now is when you should start that rotation.
- Tidy up the interior. Trash tends to pile up during the cold months, when you would rather sprint from your car to your house than pack soda cans and gum wrappers with you. As you conduct spring cleaning this March, include your car. A quick vacuuming job and overall tidying up go a long way toward maintaining pride in your ride. For extra credit, spring for a professional detailing service. You spend a great deal of your life in your car; the more orderly your view from the driver's seat, the better you will feel in general.
- Wash and wax your car. Salt residue from icy roads can do major damage to cars if it's left on long-term. And now that the world is a warmer place, it's time to make your vehicle shiny again. While you're at it, make sure the head and tail lights are all working, and that none of their compartments have clouded over.
With just a little maintenance, it will feel like your dirty old car is new again! If you find maintenance tasks that you can't or don't want to take care of on your own, or detect bigger fixes that need attention, call Christian Brothers Automotive and talk to one of our skilled technicians.