Spring car care checklist

Make sure your car is ready for the warmer months ahead

Spring is the ideal time of year to give your vehicle a little TLC. Here’s a checklist to get you started – some can be done in the comfort of your own driveway, while others should be done by a professional.

Lather it up
A clean car drives better. OK, not really, but it’s nice to have a freshly washed and vacuumed car. If you live in an area that has icy, snowy winters, the salt and grime from those winter roads can build up and cause rust and corrosion on your car’s exterior over time. Give it a thorough wash and a fresh coat of wax to protect your car’s paint and finish.

Wipe it up
Over time, various weather conditions can wreak havoc on your wiper blades, leaving them scratched, dry, cracked and worn down. Spring and fall are ideal times to have wiper blades replaced. It’s a quick, inexpensive fix that’s critical to your safety on the road.

Pump it up (or down)
Changes in temperature throughout the year mean fluctuations in tire pressure. Colder weather decreases tire pressure, while warmer temps can increase it. Make sure your tires are at the optimal pressure as recommended by your owner’s manual.

Pop it up
Check under the hood to make sure there aren’t any cracks, leaks or other visible signs of damage to your belts and hoses.

Change it up
Schedule an oil change. While you’re there, ask the mechanic to check the fluid levels, (e.g., antifreeze, power steering, brake, transmission, windshield washer) and have them changed or filled if necessary.

Line it up
Rough roads and pesky potholes can damage your car’s suspension system and throw your wheels out of whack. Make sure to have your suspension and alignment inspected and adjusted as needed. You can schedule this along with your oil change.

Charge it up
Hot temperatures outside mean it’s even hotter under the hood, which can accelerate battery corrosion and cause battery fluid to evaporate, resulting in decreased capacity and a shorter lifespan. Have it tested and consider getting a new one if it’s more than a few years old.

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