As the winter months slowly start to depart, it’s time to think about how well your car is prepared for spring. After winter – which can be particularly rough on your car in colder areas – and before the spring rains, it’s important to complete several key maintenance steps. Let’s go over these steps, and why you should think about them now as winter starts to wind down.
Give Your Car a Deep Clean
A good cleaning is particularly important if you had a rough winter with plenty of ice and snow. Over time, that snow kicked up a lot of mud into your vehicle, and that mud may have frozen there over time. You should try to remove this build-up with a power-washer or a hose and elbow grease. Additionally, cities and towns may salt their roads to stop ice build-up. After a few winter months, your car may have a coat of salt, especially on the bottom. Salt is very corrosive and can cause damage to your paint and other materials – you need to get rid of it as soon as you can!
Replace Your Wiper Blades
Your wipers worked hard all winter. If they had to deal with snow and ice, they might have become damaged, bent, or worn down. This is a great time to replace those wipers so they are ready for spring and summer. This is especially important if you notice your wipers making strange noises or not working as well as they should.
Check Your Brakes If Necessary
Due to the snow and ice, your brakes may have gone through a lot during the harshest parts of winter. It’s a good idea to get your brakes checked ahead of spring so you know if you need to make any replacements. While brakes will make telltale noises when they start to wear down, other problems – like slow braking – may indicate additional issues that should be inspected.
Check Your Tire Alignment
Ice, dirt, and snow make for rough roads. Over time, that rattling can disrupt your tire alignment, which makes driving less accurate and can cause additional problems. Take your car into a local shop to your tires realigned ahead of springtime. If you have a good relationship with a nearby tire center or shop they will often do this for free.
Plan on Switching Out Your Tires Ahead of Time
In many areas, you are required by law to switch from your winter tires to traditional tires sometime in March or April (the exact date may vary according to that year). Note the date, and make plans early so that you aren’t stuck waiting for hours!
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