In April, as winter comes to an end, it is time to get your car ready for spring driving and summer road trips! National Car Care Month reminds you to take car of any issues that may have occurred or been ignored during winter.
Spring driving brings its own hazard such as slick, wet roads. It is important to make sure you tires, brakes and windshield wiper are ready for the rain. Spring also means allergy season
While AAMCO considers every month car care month, April is the official National Car Care Month according to the non-profit Car Care Council. The councils purpose is to educate consumers about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair. That being said, there really isn’t a better time during the year to remind car owners about the importance of regular maintenance. You are probably tired of cleaning snow and salt off of your car and dodging those manhole sized potholes. As you transition from wintry weather temperatures to warm summer days, you begin to adopt an overall spring cleaning mind-set, clean the house, mow the lawn, plan that long summer road trip. We are here to help you make sure you can accomplish at least one of those goals.
With summer road trips in mind, let’s think about things that could have been affected by the harsh winter weather.
- Battery Cables and Terminals Make sure the battery terminals and cable ends are free from corrosion and the connections are tight.
- Drive Belts Inspect the underside of accessory drive belts for cracks or fraying. Many newer multi-rib “serpentine” belts are made of materials that do not show obvious signs of wear; replace these belts at 60,000-mile intervals.
- Engine Hoses Inspect cooling system hoses for leaks, cracks or loose clamps. Also, squeeze the hoses and replace any that are brittle or have an excessively spongy feeling.
- Tire Type and Tread In areas with heavy winter weather, installing snow tires on all four wheels will provide the best winter traction. All-season tires work well in light-to-moderate snow conditions provided they have adequate tread depth. Replace any tire that has less than 3/32-inches of tread. Uneven tire wear can indicate alignment, wheel balance or suspension problems that must be addressed to prevent further tire damage.
- Tire Pressure Check the inflation pressures of all four tires and the spare more frequently in fall and winter. As the average temperature drops, so will tire pressures—typically by one PSI for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Proper tire pressure levels can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker typically located on the driver’s door jamb.
- Air Filter Check the engine air filter by holding it up to a bright light bulb. If light can be seen through much of the filter, it is still clean enough to work effectively. However, if light is blocked by most of the filter, replace it. Some filters are made of materials that do not pass light; replace these filters at the automakers’ recommended intervals.
- Coolant Levels Check the coolant level in the overflow tank when the engine is cold. If the level is low, add a 50/50 solution of coolant and water to maintain the necessary antifreeze capability. Test the antifreeze protection level annually with an inexpensive tester available at any auto parts store.
- Lights Check the operation of all headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers and back-up lights. Replace any burnt out bulbs.
- Wiper Blades The blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. Replace any blade that leaves streaks or misses spots. In regions where snow is common, consider installing wiper blades that have a one-piece plastic “beam” frame, or “winter blades” that wrap the metal frame in a rubber boot – both of these designs help prevent snow and ice buildup that can interfere with blade-to-glass contact.
- Washer Fluid Fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir with a winter cleaning solution that has antifreeze components to prevent it from freezing.
- Brakes If there are any indications of brake problems, such as a low pedal, grinding noise or steering pull under braking, have the system inspected by a certified technician.
- Engine, Transmission, Brake and Power Steering Fluids Check all fluids to ensure they are at or above the minimum safe levels.
Schedule your appointment today. If you have any questions, feel free to call and talk with one of our courteous technicians. Or, fill out the form below to reserve your time, date, and location.
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