You may not have noticed yet, but it’s March! With March comes warmer temperatures, spring flowers and the annual desire for deep cleaning. This need for cleanliness and order should extend to your car as well. After all, it put in lots of work this winter. But, what does getting your car ready for spring require?
Helping Your Car Recover from Winter
Winter is hard on your vehicle. From corrosive salts to terrible road conditions to road damage during the winter season, the colder months aren’t kind on cars.
Wash the Salt Off
Salt, the corrosive enemy of your metal vehicle. Frequent washings during the winter months are the key to avoiding salt damage, but another good wash and wax going into Spring helps as well.
Pay particular attention to the underside of your vehicle including the tires, wheel wells and all the areas you can reach underneath. While some areas don’t require soap, a good soaking and spray assists in removing the built up winter grime.
Check the Brakes
Your brakes need some love after a long winter. Even if they are not showing classic signs of wear, have a technician take a peek at your next routine check-up.
Why the sudden need? Brakes are extra susceptible to corrosion from winter grime—especially anti-lock braking systems. And as one of the more essential pieces in your vehicle, it’s worth getting them checked out.
Check Under the Hood
Not just your brakes, the colder, dryer weather hurts your car under the hood as well.
Belts and hoses stretch with the dips in temperature, and freezing moisture causes tears and holes. Check your fluids and verify they are clean and at appropriate levels, especially the Coolant heading into warmer months. This preventive check-up may cost an hour of labor, but it will save you BIG to replace instead of parts catastrophically failing down the road.
Getting Your Car Ready for Spring
After washing away the last signs of grime and salt and checking the overall health, getting your car ready for spring is the next step.
Preparing for Rain
Fill Your Tires and Check the Tire Tread
The colder temperatures naturally reduce your tire’s psi. With rising temperatures, stop by your local free air supplier (the gas station) and top your tires off. Keeping the correct tire pressure decreases irregular wear and increases your tires grip. The second is crucial for the rainy, slick Spring weather.
Take a moment and check your tire’s tread as well. Look for tread depth and irregular wear patterns that indicate more critical problems and reduce your grip and traction on slick roads.
Replace Your Windshield Wipers
Seeing while driving isn’t just good, it’s necessary. And, when rain causes reduced visibility already, decent windshield wipers go a long way.
Luckily, wipers can be purchased for relatively cheap at your local auto parts stores or Walmart. They also are easily installed at home.
Spring Cleaning Your Car
No one wants to sit outside in the cold and clean the inside of their car. It’s at the very bottom of the priority list.
Spend a few hours cleaning the inside this March. Get rid of the receipts and straw wrappers lying about. Vaccum the carpets and seats. Use a few cleaning wipes and protectant wipes, get your dashboard ready for the hot sun again.
Start this spring with a clean, functioning and healthy car. Knowing that all the signs of winter are behind you makes this March feel a little warmer. Want to get your car looked at for winter damage? Stop by Northwest Auto Center of Houston and let us help get you and your car ready for spring.