After a winter of snow, ice, and rain, it’s important not to forget to add your vehicle to your spring-cleaning list. What should you be sure to include in your car’s spring tune-up? Here’s a handy checklist:
To keep your car working its best, you should consider the below maintenance every time seasons change:
- Fluid levels: Check your car’s oil, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid levels, and top off any that need it.
- Check the gas: If you have a car that’s been sitting in storage all winter, consider replacing the gasoline, or at least top it off. Gasoline can lose effectiveness over time due to evaporation.
- Tire pressure: With fluctuating temperatures, it’s important to keep an eye on tire pressure and make sure it’s within your car’s optimal range (your car’s owner’s manual should have this info). If needed, tire pressure can often be corrected at gas stations.
- Tires: If you installed snow tires, you’ll need to swap them out when temperatures are consistently above about 45 degrees. Also, inspect the tire tread and look for any punctures or debris that may be stuck in the tires. If the tread is looking low, it’s a good idea to bring your car into the shop and see if the tires need replacing as well.
- Wiper blades: Wiper blades take a beating in the winter. Replace them in the spring if you see any streaks on the windshield when using them.
Cleaning Your Car’s Exterior
Of course, your car’s exterior might be looking a bit worse for wear after winter. Luckily, a thorough clean can likely make it look nearly good as new.
- Wash your car: Take your car through a carwash (or wash it yourself). Pay special attention to the undercarriage and the wheel wells, where salt and grime can collect. If needed, clean the headlights as well. Doing so will not only make your car look nicer; it’ll enhance your safety on the road at night.
- Wax your car: Ideally, you gave your car a wax before the start of winter. In the spring, another wax can help protect the paint and restore the shine ahead of muddy spring weather.
- Check the paint: Despite your best efforts, damage to paint can sometimes occur. After washing your car, take some time to inspect the paint job, noting any dings, scratches, or chips. You’ll want to repair any of those promptly to prevent rust – and you’ll want to consider bringing in a professional.
Cleaning Your Car’s Interior
Don’t neglect your car’s interior – it takes just as much a beating in the winter months as the outside:
- Check for trash: It’s easy to let trash accumulate in your car. Check all the seats – and the trunk – and dispose of any trash that you find.
- Update the emergency kit: With the change of the seasons, you may need to also switch out some supplies in your car’s emergency kit or restock supplies that you used. Not sure what to include?
- Clean the carpets: Clean carpet can help protect your car’s value. Once you’ve vacuumed the interior, use a steam cleaner or spot carpet cleaner to remove stubborn stains.