It’s the first day of Spring, and even though there is snow on the ground, I am already thinking ahead to warmer weather and the sun shining on my face. Every year I do try to get some Spring Cleaning done, which includes getting my car ready for Spring weather. The harsh cold, and salt on the roads, can reek havoc on your vehicle like corroison, rust problems and more- but here are some simple steps to keep your vehicle in tip top shape for this coming Spring:
This post is sponsored by Len Stoler Lexus.
Wash Your Car!
You should have had a few car washes during the winter anyway, but you want to give it a really good wash to remove road salt, grit and grime – all the stuff that damages your car over the long haul. Go to your local car wash and spend the extra few bucks to clean the undercarriage with a power wash. The road salt can really damage the vehicle by eating away at the undercarriage.
Deep Clean the Interior.
Sweep, clean those floor mats and take out your ice scrapers and all your winter stuff from your trunk – or even better, pay to get your vehicle detailed. It can be some of the best $100-200 you could spent! They will vacuum, shampoo, treat your leather and plastic surfaces and get all that gross gunk from all the places you couldn’t. If that doesn’t get you in the mood for a nice Sunday Spring drive, I don’t know what will!
Check Your Tires.
Potholes are one of the unfortunate elements of winter driving and they can certainly take their toll on your car. First and foremost check your tire pressure, also have your tire alignment checked and if you kept your all-season or all-weather tires on over the winter, consider having them rotated as well. (Also, don’t forget to make sure that your spare is good to go in case its needed!)
Change Your Wiper Blades & Fluids.
Your wipers work hard all winter removing dirt and debris, including salt! Since the life expectancy of a wiper blade is six months to a year, check that the blades to make sure they are still good – if it’s been a harsh winter, most likely they will need replaced. Don’t be caught out in heavy spring rainstorm to find out they aren’t working right!You should also make sure to top off your windshield wiper fluid (and coolant too) and reapply any needed windshield treatments to repel water and rain.
Change Your Oil – and Filters.
Most manufacturers recommend a heavy weight oil to help your engine run more efficiently in hotter weather. You should also change the oil filter each time you get your oil changed, since the dirty filter obviously won’t keep the new oil clean. Replacing your air filter is very important too – it prevents dust and other impurities from getting into the chamber of the cylinders, which can waste gas and cause weaker engine performance (and we all know we are already using more gas running that AC on full blast!) Replacing that clogged filter can also improve your mileage by nearly 10%.
Update Your Emergency Kit.
Emergency kit needs obviously change with changes in weather – you probably won’t need your big winter coat and blankets for Spring/Summer. Replace those items with a rain coat, and extra bottled water, along with non-perishable snack items. Check the batteries in your flashlight to see if they need replaced, as well as in your radio, make sure your jack is in good working order, and of course replace/update other items in your kit as well.
Break & Battery Check.
Winter can definitely take a toll on your breaks and that’s not something you want to take lightly. Your safety depends on them working properly, and make sure to have a technician check the pads and rotors. You also want to make sure to check your battery and check for any corrosion or shaky connection. While you are there – check your spark plugs. There’s a lot of heat and wear and tear from electrical and chemical erosion – not to mention, dirty spark plugs cause misfiring – which means you’ll be wasting gas.
By now you and your vehicle are ready to enjoy the Spring weather!