As the frost melts away, spring makes itself known with warmer temperatures and dry roads. Post-winter car checks are crucial following the burden and strain on your vehicle from months of harsh, cold weather. While signs of wear and tear may not always be obvious, worn-out brake pedals or dying batteries could indicate a compromised vehicle. This is why it’s important to bring in your vehicle for an annual spring maintenance and inspection before minor problems become more severe.
In this article, we take a look at some tips to effectively maintain your car during spring.
1. Inspect wiper blades
Wipers play a critical role in increasing visibility while driving. This is why bent, warped or cracked wiper blades pose serious safety hazards. With rain, hail, and snow in the past months, your wipers would have been working overtime. So, if your wipers are leaving behind streaks, smearing water across the windshield, or chattering, it might be time to replace the blades. While you make these changes, make sure to also check and replace the windshield wipers in the back as well.
2. Swap out winter tyres
As the only point of contact between your car and the road, your tyres are arguably the most important part of the vehicle. While winter tyres deliver more traction on ice and snow, they wear out a lot quicker on warm tarmac. So, switch out your winter tyres for all-weather or summer tyres when temperatures rise above 7 °C (46 °F). Be sure to also check your tyre pressure and tread depth. Fluctuations in temperature during the winter season can result in uneven air pressure, causing them to often over-inflate or under-inflate. This would prevent the vehicles from taking tighter corners, accelerating smoothly, and braking reliably.
3. Top up fluids
As a rule, a change in season equals a change of oil and other fluids. This includes checking your power steering, brake, engine oil, coolant levels, windshield washer and transmission fluids every three months or 3,000 miles. While some of these maintenances can be easily done at home, topping off certain fluids may include a trip to an auto repair service centre. This would also allow you to monitor other fluid levels that may have been missed out. Remember, spending a small amount to replace or top off these fluids will allow you to avoid unnecessary expenses down the road – especially for costlier repairs that usually involve the engine or transmission.
4. Test the battery
This step is particularly important for those who have not been using their car during the colder months as most cars can only be left unused for two weeks before the battery goes flat. Cooler temperatures also tend to slow down the chemical reactions inside your battery, which weakens them at a faster rate. If your headlights appear dimmer or your windows roll down slowly, replace your battery sooner rather than later, to avoid being stranded when least expected.
5. Check the brakes
Braking systems are by far the most important safety feature in every vehicle. The ability to effectively stop or slow down with a split second’s notice could be the difference between a minor injury and a serious accident. Rougher winter conditions are likely to have left your brakes a little worse for wear. So, be sure to check if your brake systems are in proper working conditions. This includes replacing worn-out parts like pads and shoes. The following are a few signs to look out for:
- Loud squealing or screeching noises when pressing on the brake pedal.
- Deep sounds of metal grinding, rumbling or vibrations when brakes are engaged.
- Brake pads that are less than a quarter inch thick (about seven millimetres).
Regular maintenance is essential not only for extending the life of a vehicle, but also for ensuring a safe journey. Visit your car mechanic or dealership today if you’re looking for car maintenance services.
Brighton Panel Works has been providing panel beating services for prestige cars, including BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Volvo, Lexus, Volkswagen, Audi and Range Rover repairs in Glen Iris for over 50 years. For services provided with speed, professionalism and quality, get in touch with our friendly team today!