Regular vehicle maintenance is important in keeping your car running and looking as good as possible. Having your vehicle ready for the road does not have to be expensive or time consuming. With a little knowledge on hand, you can be ready to face the maintenance needs of your vehicle after making it through those harsh winter months.
Inspecting and Cleaning the Windshield
When that long awaited spring season peeks its head around the corner, you will want to give your car a good once over. Start with the windshield, as optimal visibility is important for keeping you and your passengers safe while you are on the road. Make sure the windshield is free of any cracks or dings. If you notice a small crack or ding, seek out a reputable repair shop. It is likely that this small issue is fixable, but if left alone, the crack can spread and cause a need to replace the entire windshield. Remove any ice or remaining snow from the roof or bonnet to ensure it does not fly up and crack your windshield or block your view. Take a few minutes and clean the windshield. While this might seem minor, you will be glad you did once you hit the road.
Inspect and Change Wiper Blades
When those spring showers hit, you will need those windshield wipers. Check the wipers over carefully. Make sure the rubber is not split or torn, as this will cause them to fail. Do not stop with checking the rubber blades, as the entire system needs a good looking over. If the wipers need replaced, do it as soon as possible rather than waiting for the rain to hit. Take a few extra minutes to ensure your windshield wiper washer fluid is full and clean as well.
Check the Lights
When checking over your car in spring, check all of the lights. If one or more does not work, chances are a simple bulb is at fault. Be sure to check taillights, headlights, brake lights and parking lights. Do not forget the licence plate. Having your lights in good working order keeps you safe and legal. Sometimes, a light not coming on is due to a blown fuse, which is also a simple fix. If you suspect a fuse, use a mulitmetre to check it.
Check the Tyres
The tyres on the car are your contact with the road, so it is important to ensure they have plenty of tread and the right amount of pressure. In some areas, a tyre must have at least 1 millimetre of tread in order for the vehicle to be considered legal. Tread that falls under that amount poses a risk of danger. Having too much or too little air pressure is also dangerous as it can cause accidents or blow-outs.
Check the Brakes
The brakes are one of the most vital safety features on a vehicle and for this reason, you should continuously make sure yours are in good working order all year round. When doing those other checks during spring, take a few minutes to inspect your brakes pad. Once the brake pads begin to wear, you are not only in danger of an inability to stop, but you also risk damaging other components such as the rotors. If you do not feel comfortable checking the brakes on your own, contact a local repair shop. Also, if the you hear squealing or grinding when you press the brakes, this means it is time to have them checked.
Check the Coolant System
As the weather begins to warm, you should check your coolant system to make sure it is ready to keep your car cool during driving. This entails checking the radiator fluid to make sure it is filled to the proper level and checking all of the hoses for leaks or cracks. Give the radiator a once over as well to make sure it is free of leaks. If the coolant level is low, refill it as needed. If you find yourself constantly topping it off, it might indicate that repairs are needed.
Check the Other Fluids
All fluids are important to a car in some manner and because of this, you should keep an eye on brake fluid, oil, transmission fluid and power steering fluid levels. It only takes a little time to check them all and doing so can save you from expensive repairs down the road. If any of the levels drop dangerously low, it can ruin the components or parts they are designed to work with.
Taking care of your car is important, but as the seasons change, this should remind you that it is time to give your car a good check. Performing these routine maintenance tasks can go a long way in keeping your ride ready for your next adventure. Proper maintenance is typically not expensive when handled correctly and efficiently.