- March 7, 2016
- By admin
- In Maintenance Tips, Spring Tips
- Tags air filter, battery, brake inspection, Brakes, brakes and services, changing wiper blades, maintenance tips, vehicle maintenance, Vehicle Maintenance Basics
All of that ice, salt and slush can really do a number on your vehicle. That’s why we recommend giving your car or truck some extra attention in spring. Now’s the time to repair the damage winter did to everything from your underbody to your wiper blades.
1) Clean the Exterior and Interior
Salt and sand can be very damaging to paint. At the end of winter, it’s important to wash your vehicle’s exterior. Be sure to use soap designed for automotive use, not dish soap. Starting from the top and working downward towards the dirtiest part of your car, apply the suds with a clean, natural sponge or cloth.
Spring is also a good time to freshen up the interior. 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.
2) Wash the Underbody
When cleaning your car, don’t forget to make sure the underbody gets a good wash, as well. The salt and sand that gives better traction in icy conditions can cause rust problems if it’s allowed to stick under your vehicle.
3) Check Fluid Levels
Fluid levels can get depleted during extended cold temperatures. The annual arrival of spring is a good reminder to have all your fluid levels checked and refilled or changed. Be sure to inspect your:
- Brake fluid level
- Transmission/Transaxle fluid
- Differential fluid
- Transfer case fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Windshield wiper fluid
- Battery water
- Oil level and quality
4) Change Air Filters
Your engine’s air filters have been working all winter to remove dust, dirt, and debris before it enters the engine. Inspect and replace your air filters, when needed, to ensure the proper air/fuel mixture and keep dirt from causing corrosion.
5) Inspect Wiper Blades
The extremes of winter weather are extra tough on wiper blades. When things begin to thaw, check the rubber edges of your wiper 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.
Properly working brakes are a non-negotiable for obvious reasons. Be sure to pay attention to any signs when using your brakes such as 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.
7) Inspect Tires (Including the Spare)
Bumpy, ice-covered, and pothole-filled streets give your tires a workout. Invest the time to thoroughly inspect your tires, wheels, alignment, suspension, and steering for any sign of trouble. Look for scratches, bumps, or dents in the sidewall and wheel rim. Check your tire pressure since fluctuating temperatures affect air pressure. Your owner’s manual should specify the appropriate pressure for your vehicle’s tires. This is also a good time to pay extra attention to your alignment and steering. Does your vehicle pull to one side? Does it vibrate, bounce, or sway? Catching a problem early can save you from a bigger issue down the road.
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!