| Car Care

The sun is out, the ground has thawed, and warm weather is finally here for good. Now it’s time to get your car ready for fun-filled road trips and epic cruising, but is your ride up to the task? Follow these tips to give your car a fresh start for spring, just in time for National Car Care Month in April!

1. Get a free brake inspection.

Winter conditions can cause plenty of wear and tear on your vehicle’s moving parts, and your brakes are no exception. Once the worst weather behind you, check the condition of your brakes and pads. Driving on worn brakes can be dangerous and cause pricy damage to your vehicle if left unaddressed.

A free brake inspection should let you know if your brake pads or parts need replacing, or if you’re good to go for another season of safe driving. Do a quick online search for “free brake inspection” to find an auto repair shop near you that will perform this service for free. Pep Boys, AAMCO, and Jiffy Lube generally will!

2. Swap out your winter tires. 

If you had snow or winter tires on your vehicle, it’s time to switch them out for “regular” tires. The folks at Tire Rack advise making the change when daily low temperatures are consistently above freezing and the long-term forecast shows no threat of heavy snow.

If you’re going back to the tires you had last spring, double check that they’re in good shape. Visually inspect your tires to make sure the sidewalls are undamaged and the tread isn’t too worn. Our handy tire inspection checklist can help you determine the health of your tires.

3. Check your tire pressure.

Whether you need to swap out your tires or not, it’s important to check your tire pressure. Changes in weather can cause drastic changes in tire pressure. When your tires are properly inflated, your car can perform its best and deliver improved handling and fuel economy.

Consult your owner’s manual or the vehicle’s tire information placard on the inside of your doorjamb to find the recommended tire pressure or PSI. Once you know it, use FreeAirPump.com to find a place to get free air for tires and visit your nearest Pep Boys or Discount Tire. These tire service shops are known to check your tire pressure for free, but it’s always best to call ahead and ask.

4. Replace your windshield wipers.

Live in an area with plenty of spring rainstorms? This tip is for you! Windshield wipers often work overtime in winter conditions, leaving the blades chipped, bent, or missing chunks of rubber. Worn wiper blades can leave streaks or smears across your windshield, reducing visibility and making rainy day driving dangerous.

Windshield wipers are another car part you can usually have installed for free at your local auto shop. Both Pep Boys and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts tout year-round free wiper installation!

 5. Refill and replace fluids as needed.

You already know that regular oil changes are important, but did you know there are other fluids that need attention too? It’s especially important to check your coolant levels after winter, since this fluid will soon be working double-time to keep your car from overheating in the summer.

Other important fluids to check include your wiper fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. Visit your nearest auto shop for help checking and replacing these fluids. Then head into spring with confidence knowing that your car is “juiced up” and ready to go!

6. Visit a free car care event near you.

In the spirit of National Car Care Month, many auto shops will be offering various car care events and specials throughout April. Enter your zip code on CarCare.org to find a free event near you.

This is an excellent opportunity to show your car some extra TLC and get a free vehicle check-up, where available. Experts can examine your car from top to bottom and make sure that everything is in good working order. They’ll suggest any potential repairs and replacements to get your ride ready for spring.

The weather isn’t the only thing that is constantly changing. Just like you give your car a fresh start for spring, take a fresh look at your car insurance policy too! Have your insurance needs changed? Did you move? Buy a home? Add to your family? If you haven’t looked at your insurance policy in a while, there’s a chance you could even be eligible for more car insurance discounts. Call 1-877-463-4732 to find out today!

Other Ways to Refresh Your Ride: