Spring Weather: Time to Take Care of Your Auto
- Top off your fluids. Chances are you don't check the fluids and other basics that keep your vehicle operating smoothly when it would require standing outside in the freezing air and fumbling with freezing dip sticks. Now is the time to get back into the habit. Check your oil, antifreeze and other fluid levels, and top off where needed. While you're at it, check your battery terminals for corrosion. It can be removed 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 don't mix. Better yet, don't stop there; take some soap and water to the rest of the engine area. Check belts and hoses at the same time. Replace anything with cracks, especially belts. Prevention is cheaper and safer than waiting for a moving part to break on the road.
- Kick the tires. Check out the tread of your tires. If there is less than 4/32 of tread depth on any of them, buy replacements. Furthermore, check that all of your tires are inflated to their ideal level — and don't forget the spare. Changes in cold and warm weather can affect tire air pressure. In the winter, leaving tires a little bit underinflated can give you more grip on wet roads. But once warm weather hits again, you will get up to 10 percent more gas mileage on fully inflated tires. Not to mention, they take longer to wear down. 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 can help you out with this step.
- Change your windshield wipers. If you reside in or traveled through a part of the country with icy winter weather, your windshield wipers took a beating from sliding up against it. Since they should be changed at least once a year anyway for maximum efficacy, now is when you should start that rotation.
- Clean up the cabin. Clutter tends to stack up during the cold months, when no one wants to spend extra time out in the weather, vacuuming out their car. If you'll be spring cleaning this March, don't forget your car. A quick dusting job and general tidying up will help you retain pride in your ride. Better yet, spring for a professional detailing job. You spend a lot of time in your car; the less chaotic your view from the driver's seat, the better you will feel overall.
- Get a good car wash and wax job. Salt residue from icy roads can cause serious harm to cars if it's left to sit. And now that the big storms are over, you might as well restore the shine to your vehicle. While you're at it, make sure the head and tail lights are all functioning properly, 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 are outside your experience range, or detect bigger fixes that need tending, call Christian Brothers Automotive and talk to one of our skilled technicians.