Get your car ready to en­joy this spring

The Calvert Recorder - Southern Maryland Automotive Trends - - Auto trends -

Spring breezes may be blow­ing, but be­fore you put those win­dows down and set­tle in for a leisurely drive to soak up that fresh air, your car needs some sea­sonal fresh­en­ing of its own.

Reg­u­lar car care helps en­sure that your ve­hi­cle looks and runs its best, and tim­ing your car care to the sea­sons can help en­sure all of your equip­ment is in top con­di­tion to pro­tect your safety in sea­sonal weather con­di­tions.

One of the most com­mon threats in spring is stormy weather, which can af­fect your vis­i­bil­ity and trac­tion. En­sure you and your car are well-pro­tected and ready for spring with this spring car care check­list.

Give your car a checkup

An all-over main­te­nance checkup is a good start­ing point to get a pulse on your car’s con­di­tion. A multi-point in­spec­tion can help alert you to signs of wear or dam­age on parts such as your belts, which can weaken as a re­sult of cold win­ter weather, and your brakes, which are crit­i­cal for safe driv­ing.

Your en­gine re­lies on clean oil for smooth op­er­a­tion, so if it’s time for a change (usu­ally ev­ery 3,000 to 5,000 miles, de­pend­ing on man­u­fac­turer rec­om­men­da­tions), you can sched­ule a change to co­in­cide with your ser­vice ap­point­ment.

Keep your view safe and clear

Keep­ing your wind­shield clear is an ob­vi­ous ne­ces­sity for ev­ery­day vis­i­bil­ity, but the qual­ity of your wiper blades is even more im­por­tant in in­clement weather. Old or dam­aged blades may not be up to the task of keep­ing your line of sight clear dur­ing a heavy spring down­pour. When it comes to choos­ing new blades, give care­ful at­ten­tion to per­for­mance.

Tra­di­tional metal wiper blades, in­stalled on many new cars, have ex­posed sus­pen­sion com­po­nents that can be­come dam­aged with ex­po­sure to ex­treme weather. Newer ve­hi­cles may in­clude beam blades, with a pre-sprung steel beam de­signed specif­i­cally for that ve­hi­cle. How­ever, many re­place­ment beam blade de­signs are com­pro­mised to fit a large ar­ray of ve­hi­cle mod­els and do not prop­erly adapt to the vary­ing cur­va­ture of wind­shields. This re­sults in re­duced wrap and con­tact pres­sure on the wind­shield, as well as poor wip­ing per­for­mance.

A bet­ter op­tion is hy­brid blades, such as Miche­lin Stealth Hy­brid wiper blades, which fea­ture an exclusive Smart Flex tech­nol­ogy that au­to­mat­i­cally ad­justs wiper blade con­tact pres­sure across the cur­va­ture of the wind­shield for im­proved wip­ing per­for­mance. En­gi­neered for durable wip­ing in ex­treme weather con­di­tions, the wiper frame and sus­pen­sion sys­tem are com­pletely cov­ered to pro­tect the blades from weather-re­lated dam­age. If your ve­hi­cle has a rear wiper, re­mem­ber to re­place it, too.

Check your trac­tion

Your tires are an­other of your car’s es­sen­tial safety fea­tures. Ex­cess or un­even tire wear can be ex­tremely dan­ger­ous in wet and slick road con­di­tions. If your tires can’t get ad­e­quate trac­tion, you may find your­self hy­droplan­ing or los­ing con­trol. What’s more, tires are an ex­pen­sive in­vest­ment, so be­fore em­bark­ing on your next road trip, make sure your tires are prop­erly in­flated, bal­anced and ro­tated. This can help en­sure you get the most mileage out of your tires be­fore need­ing to re­place them.

Show your shine

Sound oper­a­tions aside, you’ll get more en­joy­ment out of your car when it looks as great as it runs. A thor­ough clean­ing of the exter­ior af­ter the harsh win­ter months helps whisk away any dam­ag­ing sub­stances, such as the salt used to melt ice and snow.

Pro­tect and preserve your ve­hi­cle with prod­ucts, such as Barrett-Jack­son Auto Care’s full line of in­te­rior and exter­ior prod­ucts. Liq­uid Wax, a sig­na­ture prod­uct in the line, is spe­cially de­signed with Car­nauba wax to achieve a long-last­ing, deep shine with no pow­dery residue. Barrett-Jack­son Wash & Wax saves time by lift­ing away dirt and en­hanc­ing shine in one step, while the rapid de­tailer is great for those in be­tween touch ups. For an all-over shine to com­plete the freshly cleaned look, Tire Shine is a quick, no-has­sle way to main­tain sleek, wet­look tires. Make sure to se­lect a tire shine that will not sling off on your car when driv­ing.

Once the exter­ior is com­plete, turn your at­ten­tion in­side. Pick up any trash or de­bris, vac­uum and wipe down all in­te­rior sur­faces. A mois­tur­iz­ing treat­ment will help clean and con­di­tion leather, pre­vent­ing it from dry­ing out and crack­ing. Also give in­te­rior glass a wipe down for the clear­est vis­i­bil­ity pos­si­ble and be sure to pick an in­te­rior pro­tec­tant that doesn’t leave be­hind a greasy residue to help re­new and pro­tect all in­te­rior sur­faces, in­clud­ing plas­tic, vinyl, rub­ber and trim.

Fam­ily Fea­tures


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