| Car Life
Car with open engine hood and text that reads spring car care checklist

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 care checklist to get your ride ready for a new season!

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8 Spring Car Care Month Tips

Spring Car Care Month is an excellent opportunity to show your car 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!

1. Get a free brake inspection

Winter conditions can cause plenty of wear and tear on your vehicle moving parts, and your brake system is no exception. Driving on worn brakes is dangerous, especially in wet spring weather, and can cause 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 it yourself or get a free brake inspection to learn what 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. 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. 

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 or 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 smart 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 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. 

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

5. Check your HVAC system

Warm weather will be here before you know it. An HVAC system check will ensure your air conditioning is in tip-top shape, so you and your vehicle can keep your cool.

6. 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 places like O’Reilly Auto Parts!

7. 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!

8. Refill 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!

You’re giving your car a fresh start for spring; don’t forget to freshen up 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-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732) or visit a Direct Auto location near you to learn about discount eligibility and get a free, no-obligation car insurance quote today!

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