Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Spring

Spring is a welcome break from the cold and the right time to give your car a thorough checking over so you can repair or prevent any damage from winter. Road salt, slush and cold temperatures can affect many parts of your vehicle. Fortunately, with a few spring cleaning steps, you can repair minor damage and get your car in great shape to match the upcoming weather.

Give your car a thorough cleaning

Running your vehicle through a car wash after the winter is a good idea. But, once the snow and slush is gone for good, you should aim for a deeper clean. For the exterior, wash everything, including the underbody which can become corroded and rusty if winter salt and sand clings for too long. Once it’s clean, a fresh coat of wax will help protect your paint and make it easier for your car to shake off spring rains.

There are more areas you can clean under the hood. With the engine completely cool, remove any leaves or debris from under-hood components and use soapy water and a soft mitt to wipe down the engine itself. You can also clean crusty white residue from your battery using baking soda and water on a toothbrush.

Finally, don’t forget the interior. After all that salty wet slush and mud has been tracked through your vehicle, the material on your floors and seats are at risk for damage. Use rug-cleaning spray and a car vacuum, or rent a steam cleaner and freshen up your seats and floors.

Replace non-metal components as needed

Winter conditions can crack and erode exterior vehicle parts that aren’t metal. Spring is often the right time to replace windshield wiper blades that have been working hard for months and are now worn down.

Your tires may also need replacing. Look at the tire tread for general wear or uneven spots and keep in mind that bald tires are just as bad in the spring since your vehicle can hydroplane on rainy Wisconsin days. If your tires are still good tread-wise, make sure you check the tire pressure for proper inflation. Soft tires can affect your MPG and are also more prone to blowouts.

Spring car checklist

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that your vehicle is in top mechanical condition. Some things to check after the winter include:

  • Battery: If you have accumulated dirt or grime on your battery posts get them cleaned to ensure your battery keeps working properly. You can also test your battery’s charge level and replace it if needed.
  • Fluids: Check your fluid levels, including windshield wiper fluid, oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and antifreeze. Top off as required and if anything seems unusually low, ask a mechanic to check for other problems.
  • Belts and hoses: Inspect these components thoroughly as winter temperatures and conditions can cause worn spots, cracks or breaks.
  • Alignment: Driving in the winter can be tough on your vehicle. If your car shakes or pulls to one side it may be time to have your alignment readjusted.

Here at Westway Auto Body, we wish you a warm and safe spring with a vehicle in great condition. Happy driving!