Is spring vehicle maintenance really worth it?
Technically spring is here. I just confirmed with the calendar. In many places I don’t think Mother Nature checks the calendar. However, we do know milder weather will be upon us before we know it. This is a good time for some spring vehicle maintenance after a cold winter has passed through. Proper maintenance now will help your vehicle run at its best during the spring and summer months. Here’s a top five list of basic spring maintenance tips.
- Check all of the fluids, not just the oil. When you change the oil and oil filter during regularly scheduled maintenance, you should also check the power steering, brake, and transmission fluids; your windshield washer fluid; and your engine coolant. If these fluid levels are low, you should top them up. You may need to flush these systems or replace them as recommended in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. In some cases, the power steering, brake and coolant systems are closed, so low fluid levels may indicate a leak.
- Freezing rain, snow and ice can really do a number on our wiper blades. Scraping the snow and ice from the windshield may have left tears in the rubber which really won’t help your visibility while it rains. Spring is a good time to replace them. Typically windshield wiper blades may last anywhere from 6 months to a year as it is. There’s no better time to replace them than early spring; before those spring showers begin to fall.
- Spring is also a good time to have the vehicle’s charging system tested. Cold temperatures can put a strain on the vehicle battery. It’s also a good time to ensure the battery is properly mounted and the connections are clean, tight, and free of corrosion. A wire brush can help clean those terminals and posts. If the battery is older than five years, you want to consider replacing it. If not, check it monthly to ensure it can keep up to the charging system demands.
- Driving through deep snow and ice can do some damage to the exhaust system. Ensure you have the exhaust system checked for any leaks, damage and any possible broken supports or hangers. Catching these issues early can save you a bunch of cash.
- If you live in a cold weather climate, you’re no stranger to winter and spring potholes. Driving through these potholes can do a number to your tires and rims but also the shocks and struts on the vehicle. During your spring maintenance check, look for cracks, leaks, uneven wear and sidewall bruising on the tires and also bent rims. Bent rims can affect vehicle control plus it may also lead to tire leaks. Damaged shocks and struts can really make a difference for vehicle control during emergency braking. These issues need to be addressed immediately.
These are just the basics of a spring maintenance check which should be done once you know spring has finally arrived. It really is worth it. Not only will a properly maintained vehicle add life to your vehicle, it can allow you to do your job effectively as the driver.
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