- Fill up your fluids. No one likes 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 cables for corrosion. 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; perform a basic soap-and-water cleaning on the rest of the engine area. Check belts and hoses at the same time. Order replacements for anything with cracks, especially belts. Putting off small fixes like these 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, it’s time for new ones. Also, make sure all of your tires are inflated to their ideal level — and don’t forget 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 traction on icy roads. But once warm weather hits again, you will get noticeably more fuel efficiency on completely inflated tires. Not to mention, they take longer to lose their tread. It’s also a good idea to 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.
- Change your windshield wiper blades. If your car 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 effectiveness, now is the best possible time to start that rotation.
- Clean up the interior. Mess 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 month, don’t forget your car. A once-over dusting job and overall tidying up go a long way toward retaining pride in your ride. For extra credit, spring for a professional detailing job. You spend a great deal of time in your car; the less chaotic it is, the better you will feel in general.
- Wash and wax your vehicle. Salt residue from icy roads can cause serious harm to cars if it’s left on long-term. And now that the big storms are over, it’s time to make your car shiny again. At the same time, check that the exterior 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 would prefer not to take care of yourself, or detect bigger fixes that need tending, call Christian Brothers Automotive and schedule an appointment.