Put the Spring back into your vehicle
After a long hard Winter, not only your soul needs rejuvenating -so does your vehicle! It's important to get your car back in tip-top shape after a season of cold and snow and get it prepared for the warm summer months ahead! Here are some car care tips to help you out.
Car Care Tips
A good hand wash of your vehicle is very valuable in the spring. Take the time to check out the condition of your paint while you're washing and make note of any chips or scratches.
If you do find some minor damage to your paint job, buy some touch-up paint as soon as possible. It's important to do anything and everything to prevent rust from forming!
Spray the salt and dirt out of your wheel wells (a favourite hiding spot for rust) and repair any rust if necessary. A good waxing is great for your paint job after winter. Check the windshield for stone chips or cracks. It often isn't necessary to replace the entire windshield, just repair the chips.
This is also a good time to replace worn out wiper blades.
If the carpet in your vehicle is subjected to a lot of salty water over the winter, rust could be forming where you can't even see it, underneath the carpet. A good rug shampoo, either a do-it-yourself project or professionally done, will help remove the salt from the carpet fibres. Make sure to clean the upholstery, too.
Give the vinyl in your car a good cleaning with a vinyl treatment product to help protect against drying and cracking. Clean your windows, inside and out-it will increase visibility. Change the engine oil and filter if needed, every three months or 5,000 kilometres.
Get a tune-up if necessary. Check vehicle owner's manual for frequency.
Inspect cooling system hoses for leaks and drive belts for cracks. Have your antifreeze tested. It prevents your coolant from boiling in the summer.
Check your tires
Check your tire pressure. Temperature changes can affect it. Having the proper tire pressure will maximize your gas mileage and save wear and tear on your tires. Check the condition of your tires. Did they sustain any damage? Is there anything visibly wrong like cuts or bulges in the sidewalls? If so, have them checked.
Keep cool during the summer months
As we head towards the Summer months, keeping cool is important – both under the hood and in your vehicle. CAA's Emergency Roadside Service teams have noticed that on certain days in the summer they handle just as many calls as on stormy winter days. Why? Overheating!
Before the temperatures start to rise, it's a good idea to check your vehicle's cooling system. Have your anti-freeze tested to make sure it's up to strength – it prevents your car from overheating. Check that your radiator pressure cap is in good condition.
Your maintenance schedule should also be up to date to ensure smooth sailing throughout the summer.
There's nothing better than a cool, comfortable drive when it's sweltering outside. So make sure your car's air conditioning system is also in tip top shape. You don't want to find out in mid-July, when it's 90 degrees in the shade that the air conditioning isn't working. Newer model vehicles are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to warn drivers that at least one of their tires is underinflated. The dashboard light looks like an exclamation point inside of a horseshoe and, if illuminated, should be addressed immediately, says the nonprofit Car Care Council. When the TPMS light goes on, it should not be ignored. Driving on underinflated tires can lead to an accident or cause damage to your vehicle.
RAD UNDER PRESSURE: Read the warning label and do not remove the cap when the radiator is hot.
VITAL FLUIDS: A check of the level of vital fluids can help you steer clear of trouble.