Spring has Sprung
Another long and sometimes torturous Canadian winter is almost over. With changing seasons come changing driving conditions. Now’s a great time to get your car ready for another season of summer driving, and getting your vehicle checked over for winter damage. Here are a few spring car care tips that will help to ensure that your vehicle is ready for your next road trip.
Save Your Winter Tires
Winter driving can be very hard on your car but so can summer driving. The stresses placed on your vehicle during the summer are different, and it’s important to make sure that your car is ready to go as soon as warm weather arrives. First thing you need to do is take the winter tires off and put your summer tires back on. Snow tires are made from softer rubber compounds and they won’t stand up very long to dry and hot pavement. Leave them on too long and you might have to buy a new set for next winter. Tires aren’t cheap so as soon as the threat of snow if over, it’s time to put summer treads back on.
Keep your Cooling System in Top Form for Summer
Coolant keeps your engine from freezing up during the winter, but if it runs low, your car can often still run quite happily without overheating in cold weather. If your coolant level has dropped due to a leak in the system over the winter, you might be in for a big surprise the first time you take your car out on the highway during warm weather or if you pull a trailer. Check your coolant level as soon as warm weather arrives. It’s also a good idea to get your coolant tested to make sure it isn’t worn out. Old coolant can lose its cooling and frost protection properties. While you’re at it, check your coolant hoses and drive belts for cracking. Hot summer driving puts a lot of strain on hoses and belts. A blown hose or broken belt can bring a road trip to a temporary halt in a big hurry.
Stop Rust in its Tracks
It’s kind of inconvenient to wash your car over the winter so now is a great time to give it a really thorough cleaning. That includes the under body. Road salt and gravel can accumulate in all of the little nooks and crannies on the underside of your car. Every time it gets wet, corrosion starts happening. Spray the underside of your car as thoroughly as you can to flush out as much of the salt as possible. While you have to hose out, wash the body as well to remove salt deposits and gravel. Be sure to use a cleaning product that’s designed specifically for car finishes. Dish washing liquid is a great grease cutter and it will remove car wax. Now’s a good time to touch up any small paint chips that appeared over winter. If you don’t have touch up paint, you can use clear nail polish as a temporary fix. Road gravel is hard on paint and those chips will eventually start to rust. Spring is a great time to wax your car to help protect the paint from UV damage and air born pollutants.
Check your Alignment
Potholes tend to be at their very worst during winter and spring. When ice and snow melts during the day, it can seep into the soil under the road surface. When it freezes at night, frost heaves form, damaging the pavement further and eventually causing a pothole to form. If you hit a few potholes over the winter, it’s a good idea to get your wheel alignment checked in the spring. Poorly aligned wheels will cause premature tire wear and make your car burn more fuel. Severely misaligned wheels can also affect how your car handles.
For all of your spring car care needs and to ensure that your vehicle is ready for summer road trips, come in to Kelowna Nissan for a spring check-up.