- Top off your fluids. Most likely you don't check the fluids and other routine maintenance tasks that keep your car operating smoothly when it would require shivering in the cold 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 cables for battery acid residue. It can be removed with a mixture 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; take some soap and water to the remainder 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. Measure your tire tread. If there is less than 4/32 of tread depth on any of them, buy new ones. Furthermore, make sure all of your tires are inflated to their ideal level — including the spare. Changes in temperature can play with air pressure. In the winter, leaving tires a little bit underinflated provides more grip on wet roads. But when warm weather hits again, you will get noticeably more gas mileage on completely 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'll get you taken care of.
- Change your windshield wipers. If you reside in or traveled through a region with cold winter weather, your windshield wipers took a shredding from sliding up against it. Since they should be changed at least once a year anyway for maximum effectiveness, now is when you should start that habit.
- Tidy up the interior. Trash tends to pile 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 once-over vacuuming job and overall tidying up will help you retain pride in your ride. Better yet, spring for a professional detailing job. You spend a great deal of time in your vehicle; the less chaotic it is, the better you will feel in general.
- Get a good car wash and wax job. Leftover salt splash from icy roads can do major damage to vehicles if it's left on long-term. And now that the world is a warmer place, it's time to make your car shiny again. At the same time, make sure the head and tail 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 you can't or don't want to take care of yourself, or come across bigger fixes that need tending, call Christian Brothers Automotive and schedule an appointment.