Cold weather with extremely low temperatures can cause subtle damages to your vehicle’s system that become apparent only when you set out to drive. To avoid ugly surprises while on the road, you need to be sure that your car is well maintained before you set out on your first spring trip.
Here is a checklist of 8 things that you must do to ensure a smoother drive this spring.
1. Schedule an Oil Change
Changing your oil regularly helps maintain a well-functioning engine. Motor oil picks up impurities as it cools and lubricates your engine. However, the effectiveness of oil diminishes as it ages. That’s why you should regularly change your oil as well as your oil filter. If you wait for too long to change your motor oil, it will no longer be effective, thus failing to protect your engine.
2. Check the Battery
Inspecting the condition of your battery is somewhat complicated because not everyone has a battery tester. So get your mechanic to evaluate the battery in order to determine whether it is time to be replaced or recharged. A modern battery lasts up to six years, but its actual lifespan will largely depend on the conditions in which it is used. Note that higher temperatures can be much more harmful to your battery than lower temperatures.
3. Check Tire Tread and Pressure
Before you hit the road, check your tires’ pressure and make sure that it is at the levels recommended in your vehicle’s manual. It’s especially important to check tire pressure as the seasons shift from winter to spring, because temperature changes can cause changes in tire pressure. Both over-inflated and under-inflated tires can make driving difficult and dangerous. Also, make sure to check the tread depth. Tires with insufficient tread fail to grip the road, making it difficult to handle the vehicle or stop it quickly, especially in wet conditions.
4. Check Wipers and Washers
Winter conditions generally put immense stress on windscreen washers and wipers. Months of wiping an ice-covered windscreen may reduce the adhesion. The changes in temperatures may lead to little cracks developing in the wiper blades. Spring is, therefore, a great time to inspect and change these parts.
5. Check Brakes and Chassis
After winter, your vehicle’s brakes may be packed with impurities due to you driving on gritted roads. Besides, your chassis may have picked up a lot of aggressive road salt and grit. Small scratches that usually appear during winter can, in time, lead to bodywork rust. Therefore, your chassis should be checked as part of regular service.
6. Check the Lights
Make sure to regularly inspect your headlights, brake lights, turn lights and reverse lights. Your vehicle’s lights are essential in letting other motorists know the turn you are about to take, the lane you are about to enter and so on, thus preventing accidents.
7. Fire Extinguisher and First Aid Kit
As part of your spring inspection, check the expiration dates on your fire extinguisher and the items in your first aid kit to ensure they’re safe to use.
8. Check Diagnostics
While modern cars reveal major faults with the amber and red signs in the instrument panel, you should get a fault log as part of your spring service check. The record will give you vital data related to your car’s condition.
Inspecting all these systems will not only keep you safe on the road but also help you get the most out of your vehicle. Besides evaluating your car’s condition, you should also regularly review your auto insurance policy to ensure that it provides you adequate coverage. Contact our experts at CAV Insurance Agency for an auto insurance policy that suits your needs. We serve motorists from Dover and Sherborn to Wellesley, Needham and Weston and neighboring towns.