Spring is a time for new growth and warmer weather… which means fun, sun, and seasonal allergies. It’s definitely not a time to relax on vehicle maintenance! To help you prepare for the changing seasons, here’s a guide for how to get your car ready for safe and trouble-free driving all summer long!
Here are the top spring car care tips for your vehicle:
- Schedule an air conditioning service
- Clean and protect your engine
- Refill fluids
- Replace your windshield wiper blades
- Check tire pressure
- Rotate your tires
- Clean the interior
- Wash the exterior
1. Schedule an air conditioning service
Do you turn on your A/C for the first time and inhale the funk? Yeah, us too.
Did you know this funk smell isn’t just caused by those old gym shoes or your furry four-legged friend? It’s actually caused by mold and fungus (and other allergens) lurking in your cabin air filter.
No need to panic though. Before you’re tempted to set the car on fire and start over, look into getting an air conditioning service. Your trusted shop can help you identify your best options.
2. Clean and protect your engine
Spring cleaning isn’t just for your house; your engine needs a little TLC as well.
Have you heard of an engine flush? Well, at BG, we don’t really like the term engine flush, because it’s not as thorough of a cleaning as your engine needs.
Instead we offer comprehensive engine services that clean the deposits that build up in your engine over time.
These deposits come from 1) the engine design and 2) the normal wear and tear you put on your engine from daily driving. Make sure you’re getting an engine service during the regular service intervals outlined by your automotive professional.
And, what better time than springtime to get a spring-engine-cleaning done!
3. Refill fluids
While you’re in for your regular maintenance service, have your shop check the other fluids in your car. Some common car fluids are:
- Transmission fluid
- Brake fluid
- Blinker fluid (Ha, kidding… but, it’s not a bad idea to have your lights checked either.)
But in all seriousness, make sure these fluid levels are topped up for your spring joyrides.
4. Replace your windshield wiper blades
Generally speaking, you should replace your wiper blades every six months to a year. Although a better rule of thumb is to replace them anytime you notice a difference in visibility (safety first).
For an easy way to remember, replace your wiper blades if they fall into any of the four S’s: skipping, streaking, splitting, or squeaking.
5. Check tire pressure
When the weather changes, so does your tire pressure. Significant shifts in temperature and atmospheric condition cause these changes. So it’s important to check your tire PSI every season (and throughout) to know if they’re properly inflated.
If you’re wondering what the right PSI is, check the placard on the driver’s side door jam. It will tell you the ideal PSI.
You can check it using a tire pressure gauge which should be a glove box essential (and if it’s not, it is now, right?). If the pressure is low, head to your nearest gas station or auto shop to top it up.
6. Rotate your tires
Okay, right now you may be thinking, “Don’t tires rotate on their own?” Hey, it’s a fair question! And they do, but that’s not quite what we’re talking about here.
A full tire rotation is where each wheel is removed and repositioned to a new spot on the vehicle. For optimum safety and performance, have your tires rotated every six months. A good time to do this is when your car is in for its oil change.
During the rotation, have them check the tread on your tires. Winter weather may be behind us, but rain is just as dangerous to drive in without good tread on the tires.
Pro tip: Check your tire tread at home with our handy trick featuring Abe Lincoln.
7. Clean the interior
Spring is a great time to start fresh and what better time to start fresh in your interior than now? It’s amazing what a little time and elbow grease can do to the inside of your car. Here are three things you can do to give the interior a spruce:
- Organize the clutter. Remove those snow shovels or other cold weather gear and dispose of any unwanted items.
- Wipe down all the surfaces. Get in all the nooks and crannies like your glove box and cup holders. Some materials, like leather, need specialized products, so check your owner’s manual for more instructions.
- Vacuum the floor mats. Many car washes offer free or cheap vacuum assemblies designed for interior car cleaning. Shake out the mats to get large chunks of debris off before you start vacuuming.
8. Wash the exterior
Snow, ice, sand, salt, and other road grime get kicked up onto your vehicle over winter. Head to the car wash or bust out the suds bucket and make sure you give the exterior a thorough detailing.
If left on the car, this residue can eat away at the paint and finish. You can do it yourself, or take it to your local shop so you know it has a professional touch.
Bonus tip! Get an oil change
Of course this isn’t just for spring maintenance, but it’s our gentle reminder for you to get your oil changed.
The frequency will differ based on how often and how far you drive.
Check your owner’s manual or verify with your shop for recommended intervals.
Remember, this list is only a general guideline.
Your trusted shop can help give your vehicle specific recommendations. Ask your Service Advisor about these spring car care tips, and you will keep your vehicle running better, longer as the temperature warms up.