Winter's swan song
The birds are chirping and the air is starting to get warmer. Winter is finally loosening its cold and snowy grip. Before Old Man Winter makes way for spring, check out these end-of-season maintenance tips to ensure that your car is ready for the change of seasons.
Inspect the tires
If you switched to snow tires for the winter driving season, it's time to go back to all-season tires. If you drove on all-season tires all winter, now is the time to rotate them and inspect each tired to ensure proper tread wear.
Check the windshield wipers
Snow and ice buildup can do a number on your windshield wipers. Inspect your wiper blades and if they show signs of wear such as splitting or ripping or aren't performing well, replace them before April showers hit.
Top off fluids
Winter driving is tough on your engine; condensation can cause moisture to build up. Check your vehicle's fluids to ensure they are all up to the manufacturer's specifications. Take time to check your coolant, windshield wiper fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid.
Clean the undercarriage
Road salt is good for clearing off the road, but it's hard on the undercarriage and body of your vehicle. Prevent rust from forming by taking your vehicle through the car wash. Key areas to target are the undercarriage and wheel wells - prime spots for salt buildup.
Monitor the brakes
Driving on snowy and icy roads puts extra stress on your brakes. Just as you monitored the performance of your brakes throughout the winter, don’t stop now. Continue to evaluate your brakes and if you notice any issues, have your mechanic examine the braking system.
Test the battery
Cold weather makes your battery work harder. Now is the time to check that the connections are clean and free of corrosion. You may also want to have your mechanic test the battery to ensure it hasn’t lost any starting power.
Look at the belts and hoses
Cold weather can damage rubber belts and hoses. Take time to inspect your engine’s hoses for leaks, cracks or other signs of damage. Examine belts for frays, cracks and loosening. If you notice any issues, check with your mechanic.
This is also an ideal time to check the filters on your vehicle. Inspect the air filter and cabin air filter to ensure they are ready for many more miles on the road.
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