The sun is out, the ground has thawed, and warm weather is finally here. Now is the time for fun-filled road trips and epic adventures, but is your ride up to the task? Don’t wait until things go wrong to take care of your car. It’s inconvenient and often leads to more expensive repairs! April is National Car Care Month and the perfect time to make sure your vehicle is ready to roll into spring. Use this spring car maintenance checklist to get your ride ready for the new season!
Spring Car Care Maintenance Checklist
Spring Car Care Month is an excellent opportunity to show your vehicle some extra TLC and make sure everything is in working order. Inspect your vehicle yourself or visit a mechanic or auto store to get your ride ready for spring!
- Get a brake inspection
Winter conditions and road salt can cause plenty of wear and tear on your vehicle, and your brake system is no exception. Driving on worn brakes is dangerous, especially in wet spring weather. It can lead to expensive damage if unaddressed.
Once the worst weather is behind you, get a complete brake system check of your brakes, rotors, drums, linings, and brake pads. Do a quick online search for “free brake inspection,” and you might be able to find an auto repair shop near you that will perform this service for free.
- Swap out your winter tires
If you had snow or winter tires on your vehicle, it’s time to switch them out for traditional tires. The folks at Continental advise making the change when temperatures move above 46°F on a consistent basis.
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.
- Check your tire pressure
Whether you need to swap out your tires or not, it’s important to check your tire pressure. Weather changes 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. If they’re not inflated properly, you could be in danger of a blowout if you hit a bad bump or pothole.
Consult your owner’s manual or the vehicle’s tire information placard on the inside of your door to find the recommended PSI. Once you know it, use FreeAirPump.com to find a place to get free air for tires.
- Check your windshield wipers
Live in an area with plenty of spring rainstorms? This tip is for you! Windshield wipers work overtime in winter conditions, which can leave 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. You might be able to use a car hack to extend their life, but if not, it’s time to replace them.
Windshield wipers are another car part you can usually have installed for free (with purchase) at your local auto shop. Both Pep Boys and O’Reilly Auto Parts promote this on their websites.
- Have your HVAC system inspected
Warm weather will be here soon, and you don’t want to face it without A/C. An HVAC system check will ensure your air conditioning is in tip-top shape, so you can stay cool all the way through summer.
- Examine your battery
Check your battery for loose connections or signs of corrosion. If your battery isn’t clean, tight, and secure, it might be time for a new one. If your battery is more than three years old, have it tested and replaced if needed. Battery testing is a free service at many auto shops.
- Replace your air filter
Got allergies? Make sure your air filter isn’t making things worse. Change your air filter to keep the inside of your vehicle free from springtime irritants, like dust and pollen. Bonus: replacing your air filter can also boost your gas mileage and help you save with less frequent fill-ups!
- Check and replace fluids
You already know to keep up with regular oil changes, but did you know other fluids need attention too? It’s really 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 fluids to check include windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. Visit your nearest auto shop for help checking and replacing these fluids so your car is juiced up and ready for spring!
After you follow these spring vehicle maintenance tips, don’t forget to freshen up your car insurance coverage too! If you haven’t looked at your auto policy in a while, there’s a chance your needs may have changed or you now qualify for more car insurance discounts. Call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732) or visit a Direct Auto location for a free quote.
Other Ways to Refresh Your Ride: