- 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, brake and other fluid levels, and top off where needed. Then, check your battery cables for battery acid residue. It can be cleaned off with a mix 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 don't mix. Better yet, don't stop there; perform a basic soap-and-water cleaning on the rest of the engine area. Visually inspect all hoses and belts too. Replace any item with cracks, especially belts. Putting off small fixes can be disastrous and expensive in the long run.
- 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 replacements. Additionally, make sure all of your tires are inflated to their ideal level — including the spare. Changes in cold and warm weather can play with air pressure. In the winter, leaving tires a little bit underinflated can give you more grip on snowy roads. But once warm weather hits again, you will get up to 10 percent more fuel efficiency on fully inflated tires. Not to mention, they take longer to lose their tread. It's also a good idea to check your suspension and alignment, and see if your tires need to be rotated. Come in to Christian Brothers Automotive and we can help you out with this step.
- Replace your windshield wipers. If your automobile had to deal with snow this winter, your windshield wipers took a shredding 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 habit.
- Clean up the interior. Clutter tends to stack up during the cold months, when you would rather run from your car to your house than tote soda cups and candy wrappers with you. If you'll be spring cleaning this month, don't forget your car. A quick vacuuming job and overall tidying up will help you retain pride in your ride. For extra credit, spring for a professional detailing job. You spend a great deal of your life in your vehicle; the more orderly your view from the driver's seat, the better you will feel overall.
- Wash and wax your vehicle. Salt residue from icy roads can do major damage to cars if it's left on long-term. And now that the big storms are over, it's time to restore the shine to your vehicle. While you're at it, check that the head and tail lights are all functioning properly, 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 run into maintenance tasks that you can't or don't want to take care of on your own, or come across bigger fixes that need tending, call Christian Brothers Automotive and schedule an appointment.