Albert Einstein once said, “Intellectuals solve problems. Geniuses prevent them.” That saying is true when it comes to your prized vehicle. Preventative maintenance is the best way to keep from having unexpected repair bills. Part of that maintenance is remembering to do your seasonal head to toe checkup, so we’ve put together an easy Spring Maintenance Guide to make sure you don’t miss anything important.
Hit the Car Wash
Winter can be a slushy mess. Between melting snow, decomposing leaves, and whatever else gets tracked in on your boots your carpets are probably in dire need of shampooing. Find a quality local car wash and treat your car to a thorough wipe down. This should include carpets and floorboards (front and back), seat cushions, consoles, the trunk, the exterior body, and windows. Your car wash should have a nice strong undercarriage spray to get rid of any salt residue.
Spring for Wax
Waxing is a cheap and easy way to give your car another protective coat. Always wash directly before you wax since foreign particles can scratch your paint when pressed in during a wax. While you wax, look for small chips or flakes in your paint job. These are easiest to fix when they’re small. If you can’t get the touch-ups scheduled in a reasonable length of time, you can dab on some clear nail polish to protect against rust while you wait.
Get an Oil Change
Today’s high-tech engines mean you can go longer between oil changes. Cold weather can be hard on your oil, though, especially with the stop and go traffic so common in the winter. Check your oil change sticker. A date within thirty days means it’s time to get it changed. Always replace the filter, too, since it’s had dirty oil in it. For those who were using freeze-resistant winter weight oil, now is the time to switch it out for regular.
Check Your Coolant
Coolant keeps your engine from overheating. Have a trusted mechanic test your coolant to make sure it’s strong enough to protect the engine. Never use water instead of a quality coolant; it isn’t strong enough to prevent overheating and engine corrosion.
Give Your Tires the ‘Penny Test’
Rock salt and frozen terrain break tires down quickly. Worn-out treads mean less traction on the road, which means you might not have the control you need to avoid an accident. Check to see if winter has worn away your tread by placing a penny in the flattest part of the tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires need to be replaced.
Change Your Snow Tires
The rubber on winter tires is engineered for use in extreme cold. Warm weather shortens their functional life significantly. Switch your snow tires for a pair of good all-weather tires. If your snow tires still pass the penny test, keep them for next winter!
Check Your Battery & Starter
Is your car still starting like it’s two degrees outside? You might need to take it in for a full-service check-up.
Check the Undercarriage
You’re looking for rust or wear on the shocks and struts. Also, take note of any leaks – especially oil or coolant. If your car bucks, sways excessively while driving, or leans slightly to one side contact a trained mechanic for repairs.
At GM Outlet Parts, we want to make sure you get the most out of your vehicle. If you have any problems, we have the parts!