If you feel cooped up after a long, cold winter, you are probably itching to take the first road trip of the year. Washing your car and getting out on the open road can be an exciting feeling. However, most people do not realize the kind of beating their vehicle has taken from driving during the winter months, and therefore neglect getting things checked out before a long drive. In order to avoid unnecessary auto repair, here are a few tips to taking care of your car this spring.
Oil and Other Fluids
While most professionals agree that you should get your oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, it can be difficult to keep track of at times. If you are not in the habit of getting it changed during the winter, spring is the perfect time to get it taken care of. Whether you do it yourself or have a professional take care of it, take the time to check all the other fluids required by your vehicle while you are at it. This includes coolant, brake fluids, and washing fluids.
Rather than finding yourself stranded on the side of the road, take the time to check your battery to make sure it is running at full capacity. Winter can be especially harsh on things like the alternator and battery, which can be drained more easily. A weak battery may be easy to spot, as your lights may be dimmer than usual, or the power windows may take longer to go up and down than in times past. It is cheaper to replace a weak battery than to work out getting a tow in the event that it goes dead when you are least expecting it.
Worn-out tires can make stopping difficult, and may even be dangerous if worn too thin. Spring is a perfect time to inspect all tires to make sure that they have the tread necessary to navigate the roads you will be driving on. Because cold weather can reduce tire pressure, you will also want to make sure that they are all filled to the correct pressure so that your vehicle can experience the best performance possible.
Because it probably hasn’t been used for a few months, your air conditioning may need repair, and spring time is the best time to take care of it because there is still some time before it is necessary in the hot summer months. Turn it on full blast and make sure that it gets cold in the proper amount of time. If you suspect problems, see a mechanic for auto repair to ensure that your summer months can be spent driving in comfort.