Your car wants winter to end just as much as you do. While you sit comfortably on your heated seats all bundled up in a warm coat, your car is completely exposed to all of the harsh winter elements – battling salt, slush, ice, snow and hail to get you where you need to go. Do your car a favor and give it the TLC it needs and deserves after a long season of keeping you warm and safe. People swear by Marie Kondo’s life-changing magic of tidying up, which includes respecting your belongings, so why not add your beloved car to your spring cleaning checklist? You’ll love having a clean car, and you could also be saving you (and your wallet) from a breakdown if you know the right things to look for:
- Clean it inside & out. Most drivers wait until the very end of winter to get a car wash, but letting road salt linger on your car too long can cause corrosion, rust and damage to the undercarriage. Preventative cleaning and maintenance can go a long way. Ask your car wash for the undercarriage wash option to protect your brake lines, mechanical parts, suspensions and exhaust systems. Consider adding wax for extra paint protection and interior detailing, especially if you don’t have all-weather floor mats (WeatherTech®, Husky Liners ®) to remove the salt, sand and mud. Tracking in salt can leave deposits in your flooring and upholstery that can prematurely age its interior over time.
- Cold temperatures are tough on rubber items (tires, wipers, belts, hoses). If you felt like your tires didn’t have great traction, now might be the time to have your tires inspected for replacement. Today is the first day of spring. Your wipers have been working overtime this winter, so they may be worn or the wiper arms might be bent. Your local mechanic, parts store or detail shop will be able to easily replace your wipers for you. Make sure all belts and hoses are intact. If your engine is running with a frayed or cracked belt, you could be headed for a roadside breakdown soon.
- Check your tire pressure. Cold winter weather contracts air pressure and hot weather can cause it to expand. If you can’t remember the last time you checked your tire pressure, there’s no time like the present.
- Check all fluids and, if in doubt, consult your local mechanic. If you’re due for an oil change, don’t ignore it.
- Look for damaged rims. Potholes and winter roads can take a toll on your tires and wheels.
- If your interior lights or headlights appear dimmer than normal, or if your car takes a few tries before it starts up, have a local mechanic check your battery. It may need replacing.
- Get your brakes inspected. Winter driving is when a car’s ABS system gets its greatest workout. Also, road salts can accelerate corrosion and cause rust build-up under your car, which can lead to an unpleasant noise.
Summer (AC repair) and winter (heater system repair) are the busiest seasons for auto shops, so take advantage of the spring season to check off all your spring cleaning to-do’s. Use that hard-earned tax return refund to invest in some well-deserved TLC for your car. Openbay is here to make car care fast and hassle-free. Compare prices, read reviews and book a service with a local, trusted mechanic, all in just a few clicks.