You’re probably well acquainted with the list of tasks you’re supposed to perform to get your home ready for Spring. Not very exciting, are they? What about your car, though? The sun will be out, and those sticky summer tires can come out and play now that it’s stopped raining.
Here’s a list of things you can do to get your car ready to hit the road with its best foot forward this Spring. Some are more technical in nature, and others are just there to improve your experience. In the end, you can do all or none of them. Spring will still be here, but will your car be ready?
Knock off That Winter Grime
Californian’s might not be familiar with this one, but those of you who live in colder climates know a car’s undercarriage can get pretty nasty during the winter months. Give it a thorough wash using a hose or pressure wash to remove corrosive salts picked up from the road. A steam cleaner is great for engine bays, if you can get one.
Check Your Tires
Temperature change can do some unfriendly things to rubber, and drastic temperature changes can even lead to cracking. It also changes the density of air in the tire, which means your tire pressure won’t be what you left it at.
Give your tires an eyeballing and then use a pressure gauge to make sure they’re at ideal operating pressure. You can also rotate your tires to put fresh tread on the corners where they’ve been getting wear. This is particularly true with front-drive cars.
Check and Top-Off Fluids
You don’t need to change the oil just because it’s spring, but there are other important fluids in your car. Power steering fluid, transmission fluid, differential fluid, brake fluid, coolant and, yes, oil should all be checked.
Flush Your Cooling System
Flushing your cooling system is a simple but thorough process that involves running a radiator flushing solution through your entire cooling system. It clears out deposits of grease and sediment that can clog the system and keep it from dissipating heat. Doing this ensures you won’t lose cooling capability on the road, and that means longer life and performance from your engine.
Check Your Brakes
Harsh salt and cold temperatures can do damage to your car’s braking system. Have a mechanic inspect your rotors to make sure they don’t need surfacing to provide adequate stopping power.
Replace Your Wiper Blades
Here’s one of those items you never seem to think of, but it will come back to bite you. Many areas continue to experience rain in Spring, so replace those old, tattered blades that went through winter with a new set that will last you another year or two.
Yeah, you. Get in there with a vacuum and suck out all those pop-tart crumbs and dog hair!
If you can get these things done, you’ll make sure your car is running its best going into Spring, is kept up to preserve your resale value and is still enjoyable to drive!
Scott Huntington is a writer and car fanatic from Harrisburg, PA.