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Blog – Under the Hood

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March 9, 2020

Car Maintenance | 9 Tips to Get Your Ride Ready for Spring

Spring has SPRUNG! Well…almost. It’s time to shake the winter blues and get your vehicle ready for another season. Seasonal maintenance is important to not only the looks of your vehicle, but also the value and the overall function. Keeping up with car maintenance each season helps cut costs and reduces the risk of bigger problems down the road as well as keeps your ride looking new. 

Get rid of the winter grime, give your car some TLC and get spring road ready. 

Exterior

Wash it well

Give the outside a serious scrub down. Alberta winters are long and not gentle on our vehicles. Months of dirt, ice, snow and road grime build-up and get stuck just about everywhere — not to mention can cause your vehicle to rust. Give the entire underside, the wheel wells, under the hood and the rest of the outside a good wash with proper automotive soap and a pressure washer. Take a wet rag and wipe down all the weather stripping between doors as well, this is the perfect spot for sand and dirt to hide. 

Give it a coat of wax

Wax not only provides a shine that keeps your car looking brand new, but it also prevents against oxidization, sun fading and discolouration. There are tons of great options out there for waxing your car to keep it looking great. Be sure to wash and dry it completely before applying any type of wax. 

Do a seasonal tire change

Winter tires are meant for winter, not spring and summer. By not changing your tires for the season, you are going to end up costing yourself more money and upping your chances of an accident. Winter tires cost more than summer ones but will wear out quickly on warm, dry roads. They also become super soft in the heat and can compromise your control and traction. Be sure to always use summer tires or all-seasons in the warmer months.

Wash the windows, windshield and look for damage

Use these Five Car & Windshield Cleaning Hacks to get your windows ready for spring. During the “slush” season that we all love, your windows get a ton of dirt and dust build-up. If you notice any cracks or chips in the windshield after giving it a good clean, get them repaired while they are small. Even the smallest rock chip can lead to needing a whole windshield replacement if it’s left unfixed. 

Interior

Dry out the inside

After months of stepping into your car with snowy boots, your floors and mats become wet and never really have a chance to dry. Have you ever noticed a funky, old water smell in your car come springtime? That’s old winter water stuck in the mats and the floor. Car maintenance on the inside is just as important as the rest. Remove all the mats and pressure wash them, then leave them to dry in the sun or in a heated garage. If you can, park in a heated garage and leave all the doors open to allow the floors to dry. 

Give your seats a facelift

Get some good automotive upholstery shampoo with a scrub brush and clean away the last 8 months of dirt. You’ll be surprised at how much dirt comes out of your seats, even if they didn’t look that bad when you started. If you have all leather interior, use a proper leather conditioner and get your seats looking new. 

Under the hood

Do an oil change 

This is the perfect time to do a routine oil change. Oil is the lifeblood of your car’s engine and needs to be changed regularly in order to keep everything lubricated. Oil can break down over the winter months and become less effective in keeping your engine’s internal parts moving freely and leave your engine prone to sludge buildup. 

Tune-Up

If your car is more than a few years old, this would also be a good time to do a complete tune-up as part of your spring car maintenance. Remove and clean or replace your engine’s spark plugs and consider changing your transmission fluid and coolant. You may also want to check or have a mechanic check things like belts and pulleys, battery function, brakes and steering components. Taking the extra time to look at your vehicle in its entirety will make for worry-free summer road-trips. 

Replace air filters 

While you’re under the hood, it would be a good idea to check your engine’s air filter. During the spring months when there is an excess amount of dirt and dust on the roads, your engine’s air filter may get clogged with dirt and dust. Swapping out a dirty air filter for a new one is a cheap way to ensure your engine is breathing the way it should. 

It may not be common knowledge that most newer cars and trucks have a cabin air filter built into the heating and ventilation system. A cabin air filter cleans the air coming into the passenger compartments filtering out dust and dirt from the outside. Changing out this filter during your spring maintenance will keep the air coming into your vehicle fresh and clean. 
You spend a lot of hard-earned money on your vehicle and whether it’s brand new or an oldy, keeping up with spring car maintenance is important. You’ll keep it looking good, running smooth and help prevent damage.

If you wash away the winter and notice the body of your car may need a little fixing up, we can help. Call us at our Bonnyville or Cold Lake location or use our online contact form to get your ride booked in and we’ll straighten it out.