Getting Your Car Ready for Spring

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring, or as car enthusiasts like to call it; summer tire weather, is an exciting time of year.  It’s the time of year when your car has the potential to look clean for more than an hour, and you can finally ditch the winter rims for the alloys.  Whatever your reason is for loving spring driving, there are some important Spring maintenance tips for vehicle owners.

Remove your Winter tires as soon as possible.  Winter tires are made from a softer rubber compound, which makes them amazing for winter driving, but causes them to wear much faster on dry pavement.  Changing back to summer tires early will help to extend the life of your winter tires.

Check the air pressure in your tires.  During times of seasonal change the fluctuating temperatures can also affect your tire’s air pressure. Make sure that your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure. Ensuring that your air pressure is within the correct range will not only help your fuel economy, it is also a matter of safety.  Incorrect tire pressure is the cause of over 400 deaths and 10,295 injuries each year in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Ensure that all of your lights and signals are in working order.  When it is cold outside, we often race from the house to the car as quickly as possible, without taking time to walk around the vehicle.  Spring is a great time to make sure everything is functioning properly.  Don’t forget the light above your licence plate.

Check the life of your battery.  Harsh winter temperatures can greatly reduce the effectiveness of your battery.  It is much easier to replace a battery before it dies.  This simple check could keep you from being stranded or having to call for assistance.

Replace your windshield wipers.  Spring tends to be the wettest time of year, with lots of rainfall. After a long winter with snow and ice, most people have damaged windshield wipers.  Be sure to check your wipers before you find yourself unable to see clearly in a rain storm.  Wipers are fairly inexpensive and easy to change, so why not do it.

Clean your car inside and out.  Unloading all of your winter supplies and giving your car a good cleaning will help in several ways.  Taking out heavy items like sandbags or salt will improve your fuel economy, and spraying down the undercarriage of the car will help keep essential parts from ceasing and rusting up.

Taking the time to prepare your car for spring will decrease your risk of unexpected problems on the road and help you feel ready for upcoming road trips.