There’s a reason April is National Car Care Month. After a season of cold temperatures, harsh weather, and maybe some road salt, your car needs a little extra care. Wave goodbye to winter and prepare for safe, warm weather driving with this easy spring car maintenance checklist!
Your 5-Point Spring Car Maintenance Checklist
1. Schedule an oil and oil filter change.
Why are oil changes important? Regularly scheduled oil changes help maintain a healthy engine. As motor oil lubricates and cools the engine, it naturally picks up impurities. This is good! What’s not so good, however, is that oil becomes less effective as it ages. That’s why regular oil and filter changes are so important. If it’s too old, your motor oil can’t do its job and protect your engine. Schedule an oil change at the start of spring to help your engine purr all season long.
2. Have your car battery tested and replaced, if necessary.
After winter, your car battery might be on its deathbed. Low temperatures forced your battery to work harder by slowing down its chemical reactions. Now, high temperatures are right around the corner, ready to evaporate essential battery fluids and speed up corrosion.
There’s a chance that one hot day could leave your battery DOA. Avoid the inconvenience of a car that won’t start by getting your car battery tested and if necessary, replaced, before it’s too late.
3. Check tire pressure and tread.
Check your tire pressure in the morning before hitting the road for the day, and adjust your tires based on that reading. Your tire pressure should match the recommended tire pressure in your vehicle manual.
Why bother checking tire pressure between winter and spring? Because fluctuations in temperature can also cause fluctuations in tire pressure. In general, tires lose or gain 1 PSI (pound per square inch) for every 10℉ change in temperature, and both under-inflated and over-inflated tires can cause problems on the road.
This is the perfect moment to check tire tread depth, too. Without sufficient tread, your tires can’t grip the road as they were designed to do. This could compromise your car’s handling in wet weather and your ability to come to a quick stop. Thankfully, you only need one thing to check tread depth (and it’s not fancy). Grab a penny and perform the penny test!
4. Replace your wiper blades and refill wiper fluid.
Your wipers are probably looking worse for wear, especially if they spent months clearing away snow and ice. Perhaps they’re smearing water across the windshield, chattering, or just not doing their job. If a simple wiper cleaning doesn’t do the trick, then it’s time to replace your wiper blades to prepare for spring and summer rainstorms. Get ahead of the changing seasons (and the bugs that come with it) by topping off your wiper fluid, too.
5. Deep clean your lights and replace the bulbs, if necessary.
You might need glasses if you’ve found yourself squinting while driving in the dark. Or, your lights might need a good scrubbing! Just like our cars get dirty, so do our headlights and tail lights. Polish hazy headlights with a soft toothbrush, baking soda and water to help them shine bright. If that doesn’t work, a quick bulb replacement should do the trick.
Whether you’ll be driving across the country or across town this spring, bring your car by your local Firestone Complete Auto Care for a courtesy check. Our technicians will examine your tires, fluid levels, belts, lights, wipers, battery, and more, and help you check these five things off your car maintenance checklist. Summer, spring, winter, or fall, it’s our job to help make sure your car gets the right maintenance, at the right time, at the right price!