Ensure Your Car is Prepped for Spring and Summer

Winter is just about over – that means it’s time to analyze the damages done to your vehicle by months of snow, ice, sleet, roadway salt, and cold temperatures..

Modern autos are designed to endure most challenges, so unless your auto stayed hidden under a snowbank, there shouldn’t be much to do.

There are a couple of things that need attention to ensure your car is prepped for spring and summer.

Here are the highlights.

Give your Baby a good Wash!

You must have done this a couple of times throughout the cold weather anyhow, and now it’s important to eliminate roadway salt, grit, and miscellaneous crud– all things that will certainly harm your car over the long run.

I usually suggest paying a the bit more to have your car detailed — $100 is typical. That should get you a deep cleaning, for both the interior and exterior. It’s fantastic– your car will feel new again.

At the very least, get it washed and waxed or spend the day doing it yourself. Pay special attention to the lower section as it picks up most of the road dirt.

Replace your wiper blades!

Winter can be particularly harsh on your wiper blades and they need to be able to perform well during the spring rains.

New wipers will run about $40, are easy to install, and you can find them at most full service fuel stations.

Top off your wiper fluid.

Most everyone makes use of more wiper liquid in winter season compared to in springtime and also summertime.

Water is acceptable, but the blue liquid works best for maintaining a clean windshield.

Check the oil.

Usually done twice a year anyway, spring is a good time to schedule it.

If you discover the level is a bit low, top it off and head out to a service location to get it changed and install a new filter.

This is a potential do it yourself project, however you’ll need to properly dispose of your own used oil.

Clean up the floor mats

There are synthetic rubber mats designed to handle bad weather residue.

It’s an easy thing to ignore, but spring is the best time to pull them out and clean them thoroughly or replace them altogether.

Tire Pressure check — including the spare!

Proper inflation after a nasty winter is crucial. Make sure all four, and the spare, are up to snuff.

Also check the condition of the tire tread. If you used snow tires, time to switch them out.

Keep an eye out for any damages like cracks, or anything else that could potentially cause a blow out.

Update your emergency kit.

No need for a parka and blanket in the summer, so get them out of the trunk, and while you’re at it, check your flashlight batteries and restock water, just in case.

Replace used flares and ensure your tire jack is intact. If you have a patch kit, then make sure it’s all there as well.

Fix any Scratches you’ve accumulated.

Scratches, left unattended, can eventually ruin the finish of your car by leaving it exposed to the possibility of rust development. There are products available that can help. One example is a company called TouchUpDirect which sells repair kits for about $30. The results won’t be perfect, but will definitely improve the appearance of your car’s finish and protect it from rust.

They’ll help to match the car’s color, and also have a clearcoat pen. Clearcoat is the transparent layer that protects the finish.

STEP 1: Clean the scratched surface. Rubbing alcohol is good for this because it evaporates quickly.

STEP 2: Shake up the paint inside the pen.

STEP 3: Double check that you got the right color and …

STEP 4: Compare to your car’s finish. TouchUpDirect has a database of auto manufacturers, makes, and model years so you can get the correct color.

Examine your technology.

If your car is older, look for aftermarket improvements. If your car is a newer model then your dealer can inform you as to whether everything is up to date.

Consider your maintenance schedule.

Take a gander at your owner’s manual or go online and find out what might be due on your schedule based on your mileage. Regular maintenance is important.

Beyond Ensuring your car is Prepped for Spring and Summer, maybe it’s time for a change?

Consider your requirements.

Is it perhaps time for a new ride?

Maybe you bought a small car when what you really needed was an SUV. Perhaps there’s a need for four wheel drive? An electric car? There a lot of options and spring is a great time to start planning.

Springtime is a great time to prepare for an change. Over the summer, consider what you need vs what you have and see if it’s worth the adjustment.

By year end you should know what you’re looking for and be able to negotiate a great deal with a trade, or a new lease, as dealers are trying to clear their inventory.