Get Your Car Ready For Spring
Although this winter has been pretty easy on us, our harsh Canadian climate can still be hard on your car. We may not have had a lot of snow this year, but freezing temperatures, salt and those murderous potholes can cause headaches for even the most durable vehicles. Here are some things you should do to help you and you car get rid of the winter blues and embrace the warmer weather.
Get an under-car wash
Sure, the first thing we want to do is get into line at the car wash and rinse away the salt, slush, mud and muck. But many car owners don’t realize that a regular car wash may be missing the most important part of your car: the undercarriage. Whatever the road departments use for ice control, whether it’s salt or sand, can accumulate in the crevices of your car’s undercarriage. Bits of salt can wriggle in and become lodged eventually causing rust erosion to unfinished surfaces (exhaust systems, struts, framework etc.) and pitting to finished surfaces (such as paint and chrome). The under-car wash is specifically created to get rid of this kind of debris.
Take care of your tires
In the same way that we may change our winter wardrobe for our spring and summer clothes, you also need to change your car’s wardrobe, or in this case, it’s most important accessory, the tires. If you have winter tires on your car, it’s time to change them. Although winter tires can be used all year, it’s not advised. Handling, ride, and road noise are all factors to be considered. All-season, or performance tires provide a much better ride on warmer pavement.
Tire pressure is important, as well. The pressure in your tires can change during cold temperatures leading you to add air when it’s colder. That pressure however may be too much when the weather is warmer. Hitting potholes and fissures can also change your tire pressure. Make sure your tires are properly pressurized for the new season.
Spring Cleaning Your Car
Both the inside and the outside of your car need spring cleaning attention once the warm weather comes. Give your car a good wash and wax job, and be sure to get into all those nooks and crannies where salt, mud and other debris can accumulate. Don’t overlook the wheel wells, air breathers at the base of your windshield (which can become clogged with bits of leaves and twigs), and grooves around your headlights, doors and windows.
Then start on the inside of your car. Climbing into the car with winter boots on has likely left your floor mats and foot wells a mess. And while your at it, put away those dreary reminders of winter – ice scrapers and snow brushes and any other winter car tools.
Get An Alignment Check
Potholes, ruts and road fissures are an unfortunate reality of winter driving. Expansion of road surfaces during extreme cold can cause fissures and potholes. Road erosion on unpaved lanes can cause ruts that grab your tires and even change your toe-in or camber. Get your alignment checked and maybe even get a balance for a thorough check-up on your vehicle.
It can be hard work wiping ice, slush, snow and frost off of your frozen windshield. Your wiper blades may be tired and worn out. Ice crystals and frost can easily wear away the rubber leaving you with a less than optimal sweep of your windshield. Old wipers can smear your view of the road, leading to unsafe driving conditions for you.
Get a Spring Check-up
Your car care specialist can provide you with a spring check up. Many auto service providers offer spring check-up specials at reasonable prices. They will make sure your filters (air and oil), fluids (coolants, oil, wiper fluid), spark plugs, brakes, battery and much more, are ready for the road and the warm weather.