1. GIVE YOUR CAR A GOOD WASH
Winter is finally over so you should give your car a thorough cleaning. This will get rid of all the corrosive road salt and chemicals that collected on your car. It might look clean, but the undercarriage especially takes a beating through the winter months. Make sure you hose off and wash the whole car. When you’re done, consider giving it a wax to not only make it look great but to also protect the finish from the harsh summer sun.
2. CLEAN THE INTERIOR TOO
The inside of your car also gets rough treatment during the winter and should be cleaned when warm weather arrives. The floor mats are likely holding a good bit of salt along with plenty of dirt. Vacuum your floor mats and then wash them with a floor mat cleaner. This is especially true if you have fabric floor mats rather than more rugged rubber mats as salt can ruin the fabric over time.
3. CHECK THE WIPER BLADES
Snow and ice are hard on your wiper blades. Clean them off and do a quick visual check to be sure they weren’t damaged. If there are any rips or missing bits of rubber in either of the blades, then they’re not going to do a good job of keeping your windshield clear. If you see damage, then it’s time to get the blades replaced.
4. CHANGEOVER YOUR SNOW TIRES AND CHECK YOUR SUMMER OR ALL SEASON TIRES
In New England we recommend changing out your snow tires before April 1st. Make sure the tires are not dry rotted and cracked, no rips or tears in the sidewalls. Tires are what keep your car connected to the road and ensure maximum stopping power. Checking them is a key part of car maintenance. Make sure they’re inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendations and add or remove air as needed. Also, check for tread wear to be sure there was no damage over the harsh winter months. If your tires aren’t in good shape, get them replaced.
5. BE PREPARED
Make sure that you have a stocked emergency kit just in case you have a breakdown or accident. It should (at least) include flares, a basic first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables or a portable power supply, and a blanket.
Follow this simple checklist and do a little basic car maintenance before you head out on the road this spring and you’ll be sure to enjoy the ride.
6. EPISODE NOTES
In this episode, Master Automotive Technician Paul Rivard and Rich discuss how to get your vehicle ready for the spring driving season.
Check all the fluids. Check the boiling point of your coolant! No longer looking for freezing point!
Check belts and radiator hoses.
Wax your vehicle. Wash the undercarriage to remove all the sand and salt from the harsh New England winters. Take advantage of the car wash undercarriage cleaner.