A lot of people focus on getting their car ready for the winter months, with good cause. You’ll need fluids and snow tires, and you want to make sure you’re not having trouble getting the thing started when temperatures dip below zero.
But Spring is a time to get your car seasonally ready, too. You’ll want to take care of any potential damage the winter months may have wreaked on your vehicle, and prepare for my favorite season: road trip season.
I’ve lived in places where they use red rock to treat icy roads, but around here, and most of the Northeast as far as I’m aware, they use salt. Having the roads treated helps us get to work and school, and to live our lives in general.
However, that salt can lead to corrosion. It’s why most of the cars up here have major problems with rust. To help alleviate the damage, be sure to take your car in for a wash, rinsing all that salt off. Don’t forget to get the undercarriage!
When I lived in the South, I learned that salt is more of a problem in the Spring and Summer. When the weather’s warm enough that people start flocking to the beach for long weekends or day trips, the salt from the saline water in the ocean can actually get up under your car, too. Every time you make a beach trip this Spring, be sure to take your vehicle in for another wash.
Look Out for Deals
Before you hit the road for your cross-country trip, you’re likely going to want to make sure your car is in tip-top operating order. Over the next few months there are a few deals you’re going to want to look out for. You can check out how I get all of my oil changes for $7-$9/each.
You’re also going to want to watch for super sales on service during the month of April. April is National Car Care month, and your dealership may just be running sales to celebrate.
Take Care of Those Tires
Obviously, take your snow tires off. In many states, it’s illegal to have them on after the winter months are over, so not only will you be wasting tread, but you’ll also stand to get ticketed should a cop catch you. Find a place to store them, too. Most people can get at least a couple years of use out of snow tires, and those things aren’t cheap!
If you didn’t use snow tires this year, be sure to check your tire pressure. Cold weather can reduce the air pressure, which is bad for your tire and your mileage. You can fix the problem for a couple bucks by topping off at your local gas station’s coin-op air machine. Just be sure to check the max tire pressure in your car’s manual, first. You don’t want to overfill!
Clean and Vacuum
I don’t know about you, but when it’s cold out and I’m managing small children, a purse, a diaper bag, and groceries, stuff gets left in the car. Don’t judge, but I don’t usually give it a thorough sweeping until the sun comes back to grace us with its warmth. Use a sunny weekend to steal a couple hours and clean out all that junk, being sure to vacuum, too.
How do you get your car Spring ready?