Springtime is often associated with housecleaning, but here at Fix Auto, we think it’s a great time to focus on your car as well. Routine, seasonal maintenance checks will help your car perform its very best, as you turn the corner from winter to spring.
With the weather warming up, early spring is ideal for getting your car prepared for road trips, more frequent driving, or even that epic summer vacation that’s only a few months away.
We asked our in-house auto pros which specific spring car maintenance tips and tricks are worth considering – here’s what they came up with.
De-Winterizing to Avoid Deficient Performance
Want to save money in the long run? Try a little DIY maintenance – and right now is the best time to start! After the inclement winter months, your car needs a breath of fresh air – literally, but we’ll get to the air filter soon enough – and just a few simple processes can make a big difference, no matter what type of car or truck you drive.
How can proper maintenance help save money? Take your coolant system, for example. Regular coolant checks and fluid replacements–coolant costs around $8 – $12 per gallon – can avoid costly engine damage, or at the very least, the need for a new radiator, which will set you back $100s.
Regardless of where you live, it helps to keep tabs on your car’s condition. From Seattle to South Miami Beach and everywhere else, here are seven things you can do – right now – for a thorough and effective spring car maintenance check.
Spring Car Maintenance
Wash and wax. After winter’s onslaught of salt, slush, ice and snow, make sure you give your car a clean sweep, especially on the underside. If necessary, applying rust-proof can also add an effective salt-busting shield.
Fluid checks. Neglected fluids can spell doom for your car. And after winter, when maintenance is easy to skip, you should bring in the spring season with fluid checks. Make sure your coolant, brake fluid, oil and transmission fluid are all at optimal capacity.
Change windshield wipers. Not only are your wiper blades marred from the winter, but you’ll also need new wiper blades for springtime showers. Battery voltage check. Preferably, get a battery load test to ensure it not only survived the winter, but is also ready for spring.
Inspect air filter. A clogged air filter will severely impact engine performance. Changing your air filter is simple (takes about 5 minutes) and inexpensive (costs around $10 – $15). How important is this often-ignored part? A dirty air filter can reduce gas mileage up to 10%.
Tire maintenance. Keep your tires in their recommended pressure range, typically 30-32 psi. But, be sure to check your tires for specifics. Also, ensure your treads are fine and, if you installed winter tires, remember to remove them and use all-season tires for the spring through autumn.
Don’t ignore the interior. Salt can erode your car from the inside out, not just from the outside in. One news report found favorable results with a steam cleaner, which you can rent for less than $25.
Take care of your car, and it’ll take care of you. Of course, there are times when your vehicle problems are beyond your control. For those fender benders and accidents, you need professional help. Thankfully, Fix Auto has dozens of collision repair centers all over the U.S. For more info or immediate help, please call us at 1-800-INFO-FIX (463-6349), or use our online scheduler to connect with your local Fix Auto representative.
Thanks for reading the Fix Auto blog!