Automotive Maintenance: Tips for Preparing Your Car for the Spring

March 23, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

It goes without saying that this winter season has been one for the books. Freezing temperatures and weekly snow storms certainly made for an inconvenient commute for many drivers across the US. Not to mention all the salt, potholes, and severe weather that have likely put a significant amount of damage on the car. As winter slowly dissipates and spring begins to emerge, now is the time to give your car that tender love and care it deserves.

Prevent Potential Corrosion

Road salt, while beneficial for keeping the roadways free of ice can do a lot of damage to your vehicle if you’re not careful. Allowing salt to sit on your car for a long period of time could begin to damage your paint as well as cause corrosion on your undercarriage. The best thing you can do to prevent potential corrosion is to have your car washed extensively from the inside out. This will remove any residue left behind from the road salt.

Check Your Tires

Your tires have also been working overtime on the hazardous roads. The best thing to do in this instance is to have your tire pressure checked on all your tires. You also want to have the treads checked on your tires to ensure they are safe for driving on the road. Testing the tread on your tires is fairly simple. Place a quarter with George Washington’s head facing downward towards the tread. If you can see the top of the president’s head then you will need to look for new tires as the tread is too worn down.

If the tread on your tires is fine, and you’ve driven about 5,000 miles or more on them then you should have them rotated to ensure your safety. Tire rotation services are fairly inexpensive costing anywhere from $15 to $20.

Have Your Brakes Checked

While you probably added brakes to the list of things to prepare your car for winter, you must also have them re-inspected in the spring. During the winter season, the brakes are used a lot and this usage can wear down the quality of the brakes. It is ideal to have your brakes inspected to ensure that they’re in good shape.

Luxury car savings tip: Having the brakes repaired on a luxury car such as a BMW can be somewhat expensive. To cut down on the costs of repairs, you can opt to shop for BMW parts online. Such parts are often a lot more affordable and can help you save on the overall cost of repairs at the shop. Be sure that you only purchase from a reputable online vendor to avoid purchasing inadequate parts.

Alignment and Suspension

The potholes that derived from road salt can also wreak havoc on your car in other ways. Potholes can do a lot of damage to the alignment and suspension system on your car. An obvious warning sign would be if your steering wheel begins to vibrate or the car seems to pull to one side or another while driving.

Top Off Your Fluids

Last but not least you’ll need to have your fluids replenished in the car. This would include your windshield washer fluid, power steering, brake fluids, and cooling system fluids. You should also check to see if your car is due for an oil change. If you’ve driven the car more than 5,000 miles then it’s likely that your oil needs to be changed. Another good suggestion is to have the transmission fluids flush and replaced in the car. This service can run about $100- $200 but is certainly worth it to keep the muck from damaging your engine.

By following the above mentioned advice, your vehicle is less likely to break down causing the need for more expensive repairs. Many of these spring car maintenance tasks can be carried out without the help of a professional. However, if you’re not experienced with making these repairs then it is best to hire a certified mechanic for the job. Be sure to do a bit of background research on the automotive shop to ensure that the mechanic has the necessary licensing and certifications to work on a car of your type.