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Spring affords the perfect opportunity to do a car check up and evaluate and repair any damage received during the winter. Here is a brief checklist for your automotive spring-cleaning and maintenance.
First, give your vehicle a good washing. Make sure that you thoroughly clean all areas. It is important to remove all traces of salt, or other additives that your vehicle may have on its surfaces. These and further exposure to heat and or sun can do serious damage to your cars exterior finish. Pay particular attention to cleaning wheel-wells, undercarriage, and rims. Use a good quality rim cleaner that is safe for the environment. Make sure not to get “over spray” on your vehicles paint. The point of washing your vehicle is not just to clean it, but also to serve as an inspection period. Look for new paint chips, scratching, or rust. Have these repaired immediately by a qualified detail shop.
Closely inspect your windshield for cracks and pits. Repairing any damage early can save you from expensive replacement costs. Scrutinize your wiper blades for flexibility or damage. If there are any tears in the blades, if the blades are brittle, or if any retaining clips are missing – replace the set.
Next, get your tire pressure gauge and inflate your tires to the recommended pressures. Keeping your tires at the recommend levels has many benefits. It will save you in fuel costs, your car’s handling and ride quality will not be sacrificed, and your tires will achieve their tread life. The maximum pressure is embossed on the tires themselves. It is a two digit number followed by the letters: “psi” (for example 35psi). It is important to note that this is not the recommended pressure.
Check inside your door jamb or owner’s manual for the recommended pressure. Tire rotation is recommended every 6000 miles. Take your vehicle to a certified mechanic to perform this service. Ask for them to also check for any damage and that there is sufficient tread depth.
How old is your battery? Winter places huge demands on batteries. If your battery is on the edge of life, replace it. The summer is coming and getting stuck somewhere because of a dead battery is unnecessary.
Evaluate your brake pads and entire breaking system. Check brake oil levels and top-up if required.
Adjust your anti-freeze/water ratio in your radiator. Aim for a 50/50 mix of coolant to water.
Maybe you only drove 2000 miles during the winter – regardless of your mileage, still go for the oil change. Depending on your location, your oil could have been exposed to some severely cold temperatures. This means that your oil is already taxed enough. No need to make it work even harder in the months ahead.
Make sure that your headlights, turn-signals, and tail lights are all working properly. One light that is often neglected is the reverse light as well as the plate light. Check these as well, and replace as needed.
Once you have completed your cars check up you are now ready to go down the road safely!
Go to car care tips!
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