Are you ready for summer cruising by the coast or those super fun nature outings? Well, you might be ready, but your car isn’t. Winter is the most demanding period for your vehicle and in order to have a smooth summer sailing, you need to take care of a few things. Here’s how to get your car ready for the summer:
Clean your car
Believe it or not, washing your car is one of the best things you can do for it once the winter is gone. A thorough wash will remove road salt, grime and grit, all of which can damage your car’s exterior and even some car parts. For your first post-winter wash, don’t hesitate to splurge and get a detailed wash. Deep clinging from the inside and outside will refresh your vehicle and ensure a cozy ride.
Check your oil levels
Many people recommend changing the oil twice a year, so spring can be an ideal time to check this essential lubricant. If you notice your oil levels need to be topped off, visit a quick-change location, replace oil and your oil filter. You can do this yourself if you want with only a few tools, but you’ll need to find a good way to dispose of used oil which can be tricky.
Check your tire pressure
Winter is never easy on tires. Before you start enjoying your nice weather rides, ensure all four tires are inflated and don’t forget your spare. While you’re inflating your tires, take a few minutes to inspect the condition of tires and swap your winter ones for a summer set. See if your rubber has any cracks, flaws in tread or any other damage that can cause a blowout.
Test your brakes
We usually drive slower in the winter and once everything freezes over, brakes get a lot of work. Massive thermal cycling (changes in temperature due to heat of use and splashes of cold water and snow) is never good for the brakes. So, make sure to hit the mechanic’s and ask them to check your brakes. On the other hand, with just a little bit of knowledge, you can do this yourself and inspect brakes for some cracks and wear. In case you notice something’s wrong, look for aftermarket car parts and find some quality brake parts. This will save you some money and still ensure you get the best product on the market.
Inspect your battery
Winter is also demanding on the battery, so check whether its fluid levels are okay and look for any signs of leakage or discharge around the top of the battery. If you have quality sealed batteries, you don’t have to worry, but traditional batteries need some inspection. If yours needs topping off, use exclusively distilled water.
Fix small damage
Winter snow can hide a lot of traps that will cause you to hit a snow pile, a hidden curb or an invisible pothole. Your trunk light might also burn out, you might see some scratches and your door trim might be coming off due to subzero temperatures. Maybe you even had an accident! Little stuff like that won’t affect the way your car runs, they will affect your overall driving experience. Set some money aside and fix these issues. Most are very easy to address and will cost you only a few bucks. And once all little damage is handled, you’ll have a car that’s a pleasure to drive—forget all about those annoying little quirks and weird sounds.
Replace your emergency gear
Hopefully, you won’t need that emergency blanket and spare jacket until next winter, so you can easily get them out of your car. Replace winter emergency gear with something you might need during the summer. For instance, place a few water bottles in your trunk and replace batteries in your flashlight. Inspect your spare tire and see whether all the parts of your patching kit (and first aid kit) are present.
If you treat your car with respect and pay some extra attention to it in the spring, you can expect to have a faithful companion all through summer and fall. So start your inspection now—you’ll be thankful you did it once the warm weather starts teasing you to take out your car for a long ride.