Vehicle maintenance is always important. If you’re like most Minnesotans, you are anxiously anticipating Spring’s arrival. From shedding those puffy coats to enjoying a day at the park, there are all kinds of activities to look forward to when the sun shines brighter and the temperatures start to rise. Since winter is typically long around here, you may be in a rush to get out there and take some shortcuts to start enjoying the nicer weather. One area you shouldn’t shortcut is your vehicle maintenance. Your car takes a beating during our winter months, which is why it’s important for you to take your car in for these essential maintenance checks each year.
1. Tire rotation and alignment
Our winter weather can hide many obstacles on the road which can result in wear and tear on your tires. Once the snow clears, your tires are screaming for some attention. One essential maintenance check for spring is having your tires and rims checked out. In addition to rotating and balancing your tires, ask your mechanic to inspect your tires for tread life, your rims for any damage, and to check your alignment. When your tires are aligned and inspected, they will ensure better handling on the roads and a safer driving experience for you and your family.
Your suspension can take a beating each winter, which is why it’s essential to have your mechanic inspect your struts and shocks. When your suspension system is not operating effectively, you’ll notice a rougher ride, bouncing and swaying as you drive, or can even experience your car nose diving when you stop. All of these are signs that your suspension needs attention. Taking the time to have your struts and shocks inspected in spring can ensure a safe and smooth ride all year long.
3. Belts & Hoses
We’ve had some bitterly cold temperatures this winter which can lead to cracking and tearing when it comes to your vehicle’s belts and hoses. Cracked or torn belts and hoses can result in getting stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. If you want to avoid that unpleasantness, we recommend a spring-time inspection of your belts and hoses. Your mechanic can let you know if there is any wear & tear and give you peace of mind as you drive to your next great spring activity.
4. Indoor Air Quality
It’s probably been a while since you’ve checked on the indoor air quality of your car, but this is just as important for comfort and safety as the other maintenance checks we recommend. Your cabin air filter’s job is to keep out pollutants and allergens keeping you and your passengers comfortable regardless of your destination. Ask your mechanic to change this out each spring after the long winter. One more thing to have checked? Ask for an AC output test to be performed so when the outside temperatures start reaching 80 degrees, you’ll be nice and cool in your car.
5. Fluid Levels
Last, but not least, there are a few things we forget about until they become a problem. We recommend checking these things off when it comes to spring maintenance to avoid later problems in the year. Make sure your mechanic checks the fluid levels in your car including your coolant, transmission fluid, power steering, and brake fluids. Your fluid levels can keep your car running at optimum levels.
Don’t forget about some of the basics like your headlights, taillights, and turn signals. Our winter weather can cause them to yellow, haze over, or even burn out. You’ll want these features ready to go for nighttime visibility. And speaking of visibility, don’t forget to get new wiper blades for a clear vision all summer long.
Whether you’re planning that Sunday drive with all the windows down or a weekend getaway, ensuring your car is ready after our long winter is a must! Get your vehicle ready for spring-time fun with these 5 essential maintenance checks.