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15 Tips to Get Your Car Ready for Spring

By March 20, 2019 April 6th, 2019 No Comments
very old car turned into garden planter with plants and shrubs growing out of car - tips to protect your car

As we enter spring, here are some top tips to keep you safe and keep your car running smoothly.

There a numerous sites, providing a variety of suggestions. We pulled tips from various websites and shared them below*.

From Car Care Council

  1. Cabin Air Filter. Your “cabin air filter cleans the incoming air and remove allergens… it should be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or per the owner’s manual. It helps trap pollen, bacteria, dust and exhaust gases that may find their way into a vehicle’s air conditioning and heating and ventilation systems. The filter also prevents leaves, bugs and other debris from entering the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system”
  2. Tire Tread. “Thin tire treads create hazardous driving conditions when water builds up on the roadway… Deep tread accommodates accumulated water; thin tread does not. Thin tread causes the tire to hydroplane – ride up on a film of water, losing contact with the pavement, similar to driving on ice. The simplest way to check tire tread depth is with a penny. Insert the penny into the grooves of the tread. If you are able to see all of Lincoln’s head, the tire needs replacement”
  3. Roadside Kit. Car Care Council suggests you keep in your car: Owner’s Manual; Jumper Cables; Distilled Water; First-Aid Kit; Duct Tape and Rope; Blanket or Large Towel; Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman; Tire Pressure Gauge; Snack Bar; Napkins, Tissues or Paper Towels; and Updated Registration and Insurance Card

From Firestone

  1. Alignment. Evaluate your alignment. Rough roads and potholes can be tough on your car. If it is pulling/dragging to one side, seek the advice of an authorized service center.
  2. Brakes.  “Get your brakes inspected. At the end of the day, is there anything more important than good brakes in your vehicle?”
  3. Battery. Check for corrosion on your battery terminals. If you see any, seek the advice of an authorized service center

From Auto Trader

  1. Wash and Wax. “A good, thorough wash and wax is the most important thing to do with your car once the winter is over. Winter driving can cause a huge amount of road grime, debris and — worst of all — salt to build up on your car”
  2. Tire Pressure. “As air temperatures get cooler during the winter, tire pressures decrease, which probably caused you to fill up your tires during the winter months. As air gets warmer again in the spring, tire pressures can increase. If the pressure increases past your manufacturer specification (because you added air during the winter), it can seriously affect your car’s drivability and fuel economy.”
  3. Wiper Blades. “As spring starts and temperatures warm up, check your wiper blades for any signs of cracking or wear. The wiper itself could wear dramatically over the winter due to ice buildup or other issues on your windshield.”

From Different Websites

  1. Maintentnace. Service your vehicle according to manufacturer recommendations
  2. Batteries. Replace the batteries to your flashlights
  3. Shocks. Lots of pot holes during the winter? “Check your shocks. Is your car bouncing more than usual? Or is the front end diving when you brake or accelerate? Push down on your hood to see if your car bounces after you let go. If so, you may need new shocks”
  4. Key fobs. Have you changed the batteries? If it’s been a while, now’s the time
  5. A/C. Check your air conditioning now, before the summer, when you will really need it.
  6. Clean Interior. Clean your carpets, mats, seats, and everything else. Ensure you don’t have any salt or winter products that could ruin your interior.

* The tips above are provided for information purposes only. OCP staff are not car specialists. Please seek the advice of an authorized service center if in doubt. Safety should be your number one priority.

Photography Source: Wikimedia Commons

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Sam is the "Parking Guy." For over 30 years, he has been in businesses related to or directly involved in parking, from tourism, to corporate buildings, to restaurants, and everything in between. He is a proud University of Maryland Terp, mentor, and scholarship sponsor. You can find him most mornings at Bagels n' Grinds in College Park.