Now that winter is behind us, millions of drivers will take to the roads to enjoy the warmer weather. Spring is the perfect time of year to make sure your vehicle is ready for the upcoming travel season.
- Start with the wipers. Replace every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering.
- Check the tires. Look for bulges and bald spots. Also check the tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, which could indicate the need for a wheel alignment.
- Clean your wheels and tires. Keep harsh chemicals away from your wheels and always use wheel cleaner that is safe for all wheels.
- Scrub the tires. Use a firm, contoured tire brush and a cleaner made for tires.
- Give it a good hand washing. Get in there and give your car the attention it deserves.
- Don't forget the wax. Whether you prefer liquid or paste waxes, make sure to wax your car every season.
- There are several products on the market that clean, protect and restore the original color to your plastic trim. Most are creams or gels and are easily applied with an applicator pad.
Under the Hood
- Change the oil. Changing your car's oil and filter at regular maintenance intervals will ensure that your car operates at peak efficiency.
- Have your battery tested. Batteries last about 3-5 years. Replacing your battery before it dies can prevent the unneeded stress of being stranded without vehicle power.
- Check your fluids. Regular fluid checks ensure your vehicle will run properly. Consult your vehicle's owner's manual for specific guidelines.
- Inspect the hoses and belts. On today's cars a single serpentine belt may run everything in your engine. If it snaps, everything is lost and you may be stranded. Blown hoses can result in an overheated engine and can cause additional engine damage.
Under the Vehicle
- Check the entire brake system, including brake linings, rotors (or drums). A complete brake job can return your car's brakes to 'like new' condition.
- Check the shocks or struts for signs of physical damage, such as leaking, rusting or dents.
- Pay attention to leaks. Leaks are little warning signs that your car could have larger problems. Don't let them go unrepaired.
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