How to Prepare Your Car for Spring

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By the end of a long winter, you're probably eager to get in the car and go. But before you do, it's important to make sure your car is ready to travel. The winter season takes a toll on your car, even more than you might realize. Therefore, it's a good idea to bring it to a mechanic for a thorough inspection. If you're wondering what kind of maintenance might be performed when your car goes in for service, here's what to expect.

Oil Changes Keep Your Gears Turning

Normally, you get your car oil changed approximately every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Unless you just had the oil changed at the end of the winter season, bring your car in for an oil change in the spring. This way, the engine will be clean and ready to go for the upcoming season, which is when you're most likely ready to drive more.

Should I Have My Tires Inspected for the Spring?

The tires take a beating during the winter. If you had winter tires on your car, have them switched in the spring. If you have been driving on the same tires, have a mechanic check their condition. Cars lose about one pound per square inch (PSI) of tire pressure when the temperature drops by 10ºF. They should have sufficient tread and be properly inflated. It's also critical to check all four tires, as they may wear unevenly during the winter. As you're evaluating the tires, consider getting an alignment, too. If the car pulls to one side, the steering wheel doesn't center when you park or the tires have worn unevenly; it is probably time to have a mechanic check the alignment.

Get Your Battery Levels Checked

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Almost nothing zaps a battery's power faster than cold temperatures. Batteries will last about three to five years in a temperate climate. But in a snowy location, they can die after two years. If the car seems sluggish, the interior lights are dimmed, or if the engine has trouble turning over, you may need a new battery. Getting the battery evaluated by a knowledgeable mechanic is important, as a battery can also become corroded and cause other problems if it endured a taxing winter at less than its peak capacity.

Inspect Your Windshield Wipers if They are Underperforming

After several months of cleaning snow, salt, and ice from your car's windshield, the wipers may need some TLC. You might notice that they leave a residue when they slide across the windshield, they stutter, or they make a chattering sound. If cleaning the wipers do not solve the problem, it's probably time to replace the wiper blades. While you're thinking of the wipers, take the time to refill the wiper fluid reservoir too.

How Do I Know It's Time to Check My Bulbs?

The head and tail lights in your car have microscopic openings that can let small particles of dirt and dust in. Over time, and especially after exposure to salt from the roads in winter, the accumulation of debris can make the lights duller. It might also be more difficult for you to see. For safety reasons, therefore, it is essential to keep the bulbs in top shape. They should be thoroughly cleaned and replaced if necessary.

Given the toll it takes on your car, the end of winter is a good time to give your vehicle proper attention. There are several simple maintenance tasks you should perform on your car to help it recover from winter. If you have questions about springtime car maintenance or want to schedule an appointment for service, don't hesitate to let our kind, courteous staff know.

Categories: Car Service, Tips & Tricks