Let's face it – car maintenance can be a hassle, especially considering the changing seasons. Yet, it's a necessary step we can't skip to take care of our cars and extend their longevity. Some people can overlook or postpone car maintenance due to lack of time, a tight budget, or simply because they don't understand just how vital regular upkeep is.
However, if you own a car, prioritize car care and prepare your vehicle for the changing seasons to ensure optimal performance, safety, and longevity. No one wants to find themselves on the side of the road with a broken car while the Spring sun is shining.
Top 7 tips to help prepare for Spring
The internet is full of all kinds of guides, tutorials, and even quirky tips&tricks on how to prepare for Spring. That's why we gathered all the key points to help you stay on track and evaluate what you should do.
Tip 1: Check your tires
The winter season can be tough on your tires, depending on where you live and what kind of car you drive. That's why you have to change to summer tires to ensure proper tire function, performance, and lower fuel consumption.
Or, if you don't need to switch between summer and winter tires, make sure to look out for cuts and general wear and tear before rolling out for a Spring drive. Also, don’t forget to rotate (rearward cross, x-pattern, forward cross) your tires to make sure they wear out evenly.
Tip 2: Check your brakes
You should always take note to inspect your brake pads even before the seasons change. Look for any signs of wear on the brake pads, and make sure the brake fluid is at the recommended level. If you hear any unusual noises when you apply the brakes, it's a sign that they may need to be replaced. We have a separate blog post about brake pads and when they should be replaced, so if you'd like to learn more, check it out.
Tip 3: Change your oil and filters
Regular oil changes are important for the health of your car's engine, and Spring is a good time to make sure you're up to date. Old oil can become thick and sludgy over time, making it less effective at lubricating your engine and protecting it from wear and tear.
The OBDeleven's Oil Service Reset and Inspection Service Reset One-Click Apps can help you a bit here. Both pre-made applications remind you to change your car's oil and do an overall vehicle inspection according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Tip 4: Check your air conditioning
Drivers usually only notice that the A/C system isn't working properly when the weather is hot, which is when the repair shops have long queues. That's why we advise you to have your A/C system checked beforehand to avoid long waiting times and suffering in hot weather.
The most common problem after Winter is a lack of refrigerant due to system leaks or age. Sometimes an A/C Flap Calibration may also be necessary if the cold air is distributed unevenly in the car or after a flap repair. You can have it checked by a professional and make sure the coolant level is at the recommended level.
Or, if you're using OBDeleven, you can get the A/C Adjustment for Hot Countries and A/C Flap Calibration One-Click Apps to calibrate the flaps yourself.
Tip 5: Wash your car
We often don't even notice the damage road debris and salt can have on our cars. Use a mild soap and a soft sponge or cloth to clean your car, and be sure to rinse it thoroughly. Pay extra attention to the wheels and undercarriage, as road salt and other debris can accumulate in these areas and cause corrosion.
If you're a car customization enthusiast, applying a UV-protective coating to the entire body of the car to help maintain a longer-lasting color saturation is advisable. This is particularly relevant in sunny climates.
Tip 6: Check your wipers
After Winter, old wipers can often be torn by ice and snow, and the rubber can also be hardened, so it's a good idea to replace them for better visibility. Besides, Spring showers are common, so it's important to make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition. Inspect your wiper blades, and make sure they're making good contact with the windshield. If they're leaving streaks or smears, it's time to replace them.
Tip 7: Check your fluids
In addition to oil and coolant, your car has several other fluids that need to be checked regularly. These include brake fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid. Check the level of window cleaner, oil, and other fluids, and top them up if necessary.
To sum up
When preparing your car for Spring, it’s important to assess any Winter damage, adapt to new driving conditions, prevent unexpected breakdowns, and extend the lifespan of your vehicle. By ensuring that your car is in good condition, you can stay safe on the road, save money, and enjoy a smooth ride.