Springtime in Raleigh means warmer weather, sunny days, and more time outside. It also means car maintenance.
While winters in North Carolina are typically pretty mild, cold weather can really take a toll on your car. Here are a few things you should do every spring to combat any winter wear and tear and prevent lasting damage.
Essential Spring Car Care Tips
Check Your Tire Pressure
Drastic changes in temperature, like the transition from winter to spring, cause fluctuations in tire pressure. The general rule is that for every 10 degree temperature change, your tire pressure will change by around 2%. In the spring, this means that your psi will go up with the temps. Take the time to check your tire pressure to make sure it’s in the correct range for your vehicle. Your car will handle better and you’ll get better gas mileage!
Rotate Your Tires
You should rotate your tires every six months or 3,000-5,000 miles. If you haven’t done this in a while, spring is a great time to get it done!
Your alignment should be checked annually, even if you don’t think your car is pulling left or right. Sometimes we don’t realize that our car’s alignment is off because we drive it every day. When you get your tires rotated, ask your mechanic to check your alignment to make sure it’s properly aligned.
Do a Fluid Check
Spring is a great time to check all the fluids in your car to make sure your engine has everything it needs to run smoothly. We recommend checking the following fluids:
- Power steering
- Air conditioning coolant
- Windshield washer
Most of these can be easily checked at home, but if you’re uncomfortable checking them yourself, give us a call!
Check Your Wiper Blades
Cold weather and icy windshields can damage the rubber portion of your windshield wiper blades. Take a minute to check them to make sure they still work properly and, if not, replace them immediately. You don’t want to get caught in the rain with windshield wipers that don’t work correctly!
Inspect Your Belts & Hoses
In the winter, the belts and hoses on your car contract and expand much more often than they do in the warmer months. As you may have guessed, this causes wear and tear. It’s important to examine your belts and hoses for damage or extreme wear and get any that are beyond repair replaced immediately. A broken belt can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your car so it’s best to address the problem before it gets to that point!
Oil & Filter Change
Most car manufacturers used to recommend oil changes every 3 months or 3,000 miles but modern cars can go much longer between changes: some up to 10,000 miles! If you’ve neglected an oil change over the winter and you’re due, spring is a good time to get it done.
Test Your Battery
Cold weather makes your car’s battery work harder, depleting it faster. In fact, AAA found that at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a car battery loses about 35% of its strength! It’s important to check your battery at the beginning of spring to see how much charge is left. Being stranded with a dead battery is never fun.
Check and Clean Your Lights
Snow and ice can leave a layer of grime on your car’s lights. Take the time to test your bulbs and clean your headlights to remove that winter muck. It’s illegal to drive with a blown headlight or taillight so replacing one is not only a good idea, it could save you from a costly ticket.
Clean the Inside
You probably did some spring cleaning in your home, why not do the same to your car? Clean out the coats, hats, and gloves that have accumulated over the winter, vacuum, and wipe down hard surfaces with protectant wipes. (It’s a great idea to wash and wax the exterior of your car as well. Just know that your work may be instantly undone by the heavy pollen we get in the Raleigh area!)
Get Your Car Ready for Spring at Reliable Imports
The certified car technicians at Reliable Import Service in Raleigh have been providing exceptional services to keep vehicles in tip-top shape for over 30 years. For all of your maintenance needs, look no further than our experienced maintenance professionals. Schedule your appointment today by calling (919) 324-3019 or by completing our online contact form.