How to Prepare Your Car for Spring

 

Despite the groundhog seeing his shadow, it looks like spring may be coming early for us in Indiana. However, even the relatively low amount of ice, salt, and slush that we experienced can harm your vehicle. Spring’s a time to repair the damage winter did and get caught up on any delayed maintenance.

1) Check Your Tires

Bumpy, ice-covered, and pothole-filled streets are not a tire’s best friend. The arrival of spring is a good reminder to examine your tires, wheels, alignment, suspension, and steering for signs of potential issues. Check your tire pressure. Look for any dents, scratches, or bumps in the sidewall or wheel rim. Be sure your alignment and steering is in good shape. Does your vehicle pull to one side? Does it vibrate, bounce, or sway? Lastly, don’t forget to check your spare! When you catch issues early, you’re more likely to save yourself a bigger headache in the future.

2) Give the Exterior and Interior a Good Scrub

After you’ve seen the last of winter weather, it’s always a good idea to give your entire vehicle a good scrub down. Salt and sand can be very damaging and the sooner you remove it, the better.

Starting from the top, use a good automotive soap and work downward towards the dirtiest part of your car. Vacuum or scrub every nook and cranny, taking the time to remove all the salt and grit. Remove any trash or unneeded items–like that ice scraper–that create clutter and could become mobile during a quick stop. While you’re at it, don’t forget to wash the underbody, as well. All the salt and sand from the roads can cause rust problems if it sticks to your vehicle for too long.

3) Top Off Your Fluid Levels

Springtime is a good annual reminder to have all your fluid levels checked and refilled or changed. Your vehicle’s essential fluids can get especially depleted during colder temperatures. Be sure to inspect your:

Oil level and quality
Brake fluid level
Transmission/Transaxle fluid
Battery water
Differential fluid
Transfer case fluid
Power steering fluid
Windshield wiper fluid

4) Brakes

Properly working brakes are not something you want to leave to chance. Have your brakes inspected on a regular basis and be aware of any unusual signs such as a strange odor, noise, pulling to one side, vibration, a sharp grabbing, or a loose or hard feeling when pressing on the brakes. When in doubt, bring your vehicle in for a professional brake inspection.

5) Inspect Wiper Blades

Changing weather conditions and age cause your wipers to deteriorate over time. After enough wear, all wiper blades start to crack and become brittle. When things begin to thaw, check the rubber edges of your blades for cracks, tears, rounded edges, and to be sure they are still flexible. Also inspect the metal frame for any corrosion or loose joint connections.
The certified technicians at Jiffy Lube of Indiana are here to help you maintain your vehicle in its best condition. Whether you choose to spring clean your own vehicle or take advantage of an automotive professional’s services, be sure to give your vehicle some extra attention and enjoy the season! Find a Jiffy Lube of Indiana near you. Sign up to get our best deals.

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