Spring is in the Air…
(…and pot holes are in the ground!)
You know what they say, “Spring is in the air, a time when a young man’s thoughts turn to….FIXING WINTER DRIVING DAMAGE!”
Whether last winter’s slippery roads caused you to need an alignment, or your needs are more in line with body or mechanical repairs, the time to do it is NOW before you hit the road for warm weather activities.
Here is a spring check list on things to think about that could affect your vehicle’s reliability when the summer driving season arrives:
Check Your Fluids
Although we advise that you have your fluids checked throughout the year, spring
is a good time to make sure everything is topped off and your car’s fluids don’t need replaced. And, we’re not just talking about your windshield wiper fluid…inspect and replace as needed:
DRIVELINE FLUID (FRONT AND REAR DIFFERENTIAL AND TRANSFER CASE IF EQUIPT)
On the engine oil, coolant and brake fluids – make sure the engine is cool and the car is off when checking the fluid level.
On the transmission and power steering fluids, turn on your car and let the engine run for a few minutes before you do your check. You’ll turn the car OFF before you check the power steering fluid. You’ll perform the transmission fluid check while the engine is running. It’s also important for the transmission fluid check that you are parked on a level surface to make sure the dip stick reads properly. If you don’t feel comfortable checking your fluids, bring it by Pickering’s Auto Service and we’ll be happy to help you!
Trent Pickering of Pickering Auto Service in Lakewood, CO – Arvada, CO – Westminster, CO tells us, “Most DIYers or hobby mechanics can check most of the fluids. But some fluids actually need to be checked from underneath your vehicle. Often seasonal inspection coupons are the easiest and cheapest way to get everything inspected and done all at once. Additionally, it makes sense to change filters at the same time fluids are changed. A service advisor can tell you what you need.”
Check Your Tires
Snow tires need to be removed. Worn tires need to be replaced. Damage sidewalls are a problem just waiting to happen. Look for cracks, gouges and items that may have penetrated the rubber. Check for wear patterns on the tread. This could be an indication of improper alignment or worn front end parts. Finally, check your tire pressure and adjust accordingly. Cold winter temperatures may have caused the air pressure to be reduced. You’ll want to make sure your psi is what the manufacturer recommends: you can usually find that information on the inside of your driver’s side door or in your car’s operational manual. (Tip: usually the psi listed on the tire itself is a MAX psi and is NOT what you should set the actual tire pressure to).
Check Your Battery
If your battery is over 3 years old, check the charging power and clean the terminals. Who wants to be stranded in any season?
Check Your Wiper Blades
“Since April flowers bring May flowers”, you’ll want to be sure that your wipers can handle warmer weather storms. Winter blades are great for snow and ice, but rain’s a different story.
Check Your Air Conditioning
Before the heat wave begins, check to make sure that your air conditioner is running correctly. Your auto service professional can help you should repairs be needed.
Check all Rubber Components and MORE
Cold, wind and snow can be hard on belts and hoses, not to mention all the chemicals that they put on the roads. Rubber and plastic expand and contrast with the heat and cold, which stresses these parts year after year until the fail. Take a few minutes to inspect for worn, cracked or loose components. Again, a professional auto service and repair advisor might be your best option for this examination…they KNOW what to look for!
And while you’re at the shop – make sure to point out any illuminated check engine warnings and address any strange noises you’ve been hearing while you drive.
With vehicles, problems only seem to get worse…and will cost you more to repair if you wait.
Check Your Lights
Dim headlight and burned out tail lights are easily fixed and can make a big difference on seeing where you’re going, or letting others know you’re slowing down. LED headlights are the brightest – 500% brighter than halogen headlights. And the LED light is a pure, white light, making nighttime driving visibility dramatically improved.
Check Your Emergency Equipment
Check and double check that you have everything you need in the event of a roadside emergency. A reliable, stable jack, jumper cables, gas can, tools, flashlight,
spare tire filled with air, water in case of an overheated radiator, etc. And don’t forget about yourself and pets, too. Water, leashes, sunscreen, raingear, phone charger or charging brick, snacks…all are easy to throw in the car and could come in handy “just in case.”
With winter behind us in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to look ahead to safe and reliable warm weather driving.
Call Pickering’s Auto Service today, or make an appointment online!