As the first signs of spring are presenting themselves, the warmer weather is something that is sure to impact our vehicle maintenance
2015 has been a long and cold winter for many provinces across Canada. With harsh and cold weather conditions being a reality for many of us, along with it, winter can leave negative and lasting effects on our vehicles. While it is important to be proactive and maintain the condition of the cars we drive all year long – something can also be said for paying even more attention to them after the winter months. Here are some spring maintenance tips for you as a car owner that can help you put the winter weather behind you.
1. Remove All Remaining Salt
From your boots to your car, the salt used to melt snow and ice on the roads can have lasting effects on your vehicle. If the salt, especially left on the undercarriage of your car for too long, can lead to rusting and other damage. A fairly quick fix for this type of vehicle maintenance is to take your vehicle, several times even through a car wash that has sprayers that target underneath the car with a high level of force for effective salt removal. This is also an action you can take all winter long, to keep excess salt to a minimum – repeating whenever necessary.
2. Check & Refill Oil
If you have not had your vehicle’s oil changed since before the winter months, then it makes sense that spring is an ideal time to have this done. Typically, vehicles require that the oil be change every 8,000 to 16,000 km – although with modern engines many cars may be able to last up to 24,000 km. There is no harm in checking the oil sooner, other than the expense you will have to pay more frequently – however it you keep to this routine as best as you can – taking action again in the spring – you can keep your vehicle running smoothly.
3. Change Vehicle Fluids
Spring is also an ideal time to flush out all of the transmission fluid. This is often a neglected car maintenance task, and yet your vehicle transmission can be fairly expensive to repair or replace. That being said, since your vehicle is likely to have endured some rough winter weather – taking action to make sure the transmission is in working order will be important. Checking wiper fluid and brake and cooling systems fluids should also be checked as a apart of your spring maintenance checklist.
4. Rotate Tires & Check Air Pressure
With the great expense that can be associated with purchasing tires for your car, it makes perfect sense to maintain all of them – including the spare tire, in order to prolong their live. It is important to rotate all 4 tires to ensure that they are being evenly worn – and so they do not wear down too quickly.
If tires are being driven with an inaccurate level of inflation, this can do damage to the tires, as well as bring up safety and handling concerns. You can refer to your vehicle manual as well as checking the tires themselves to determine the ideal pressure. Checking the pressure in these tires is a job that should consistently be performed, and if you have not already done so during the winter, it is especially a good idea to check the inflation rate this spring.
5. Remove Winter Tires
While some people may either decide to delay having their winter tires removed – or not have them removed at all – it is important to know about the negative effects this can have on your vehicle. Since winter tires are designed to create better traction in ice and snow, the same cannot be said for spring and summer driving conditions. On the contrary, the dry and wet roads we are more likely to see during these milder seasons will not be suitable for winter tires. Instead, using winter tires, during the other months can actually compromise your vehicle’s ability to stop as well as causing them to wear out faster than regular tires.
Once you have removed your winter tires, there are also some additional care tips to remember. Make sure to spray or wash your winter tires to remove excess salt that if left unattended, will lead to corrosion. Finally, you will want to store them in a location that is both cool and dry to keep them unharmed until they are required again the following winter.
6. Check the Brakes
It is likely that you have already guessed how important having brakes that work properly is for you. Not only does neglecting your brakes lead to costly repairs down the road, it can also lead to serious safety and driving issues. As part of your typical vehicle maintenance plan, you will want to have a technician check the brakes to make sure the pads and rotors are in good condition. As a part of your spring vehicle servicing, you can take advantage of this time to have your brakes tended to as well.
All Canadian drivers can help keep their cars in safe working condition by participating in sufficient annual vehicle maintenance and care. Taking this even one step further and understanding how certain elements, such as lengthy winter weather temperatures can affect the level of vehicle performance.
Canada Drives is committed to helping drivers find a car lender that will help them get on the road. Once you get your car loan and get behind your new ride, it’s your responsibility to take care of that vehicle. Being a car owner comes with many important responsibilities. However we want you to coast into spring with a safe and well-maintained vehicle that you can continue to enjoy long into the future seasons.