Winter is never easy on your car, whether you travelled to a snowy mountain top or stayed in the desert. Any harsh temperature change can impact how your car runs, which is why it’s essential to get it ready for the spring. Here at VIP European Auto, we care about how your car looks and how it runs, so here are some tips on spring car maintenance.
1. Check Your Tire Pressure
If your “check tire pressure” light popped on at any time this winter, it’s best not to ignore it and wait for warmer temperatures. Your tires are the only point of contact between your car and the road and are an obviously vital part of your vehicle. Take care of them and don’t ignore the pressure warning light!
In general, a tire can lose or gain 1 PSI (pound per square inch) for every 10-degree change in temperature. In the winter, cold air contracts, thus your tires lose air pressure. Underinflated tires increase the friction between your car and the road, thus increasing the risk of it popping. It also leads to premature wear and tread separation.
Check your tires’ optimal pressure in your car’s owner’s manual and check the pressure once a month. While you’re inspecting your tire, be sure to look at the tread too. If it’s uneven or irregular, or if there are ‘cuts” on the sidewalls, it could be time for a replacement or rotation.
Be sure to rotate your tires every 10,000 to ensure optimal performance!
2. Don’t Neglect Your Windshield
Did you know that warm weather can cause glass to become brittle? This means any unsealed cracks or chips in your windshield could get worse as the weather heats up! For your own safety, you should seal all cracks in your windshield or look to get the entire thing replaced.
Driving with a small crack in your windshield is usually fine, but a larger crack can be dangerous as it dramatically reduces the integrity of the glass and lowers your visibility. The larger the crack, the higher the chance of it cracking further.
If you opt to seal the crack, remember that the springtime comes with more sun too. Every time the sun hits the crack or chip, there will be a “sun dazzle” effect as the sun reflects off of it. This can impair your vision while driving.
Don’t forget about your wiper blades. With spring comes rain, so be sure your visibility isn’t impaired by old, cracked, or torn wiper blades.
3. Check Your Car’s Battery
Just like how your tires can get low in cold weather, so can your battery’s charge. Low temperatures force your battery to work harder because the cold weather slows down its internal chemical reactions. As the temperature gets warmer, your battery fluid can be evaporated and speed up corrosion, which only speeds up the draining process.
If you kept your battery charged in the winter, then you should be all set for the spring. If you didn’t, consider checking it to make sure your car won’t be dead after its first spring excursion.
If your battery is over five years old, you should get it checked out and consider replacing it as well.
4. Goodbye Winter Carpet Smell
Taking a break from your car’s mechanical systems, let’s focus on the interior. During the winter, especially if you traveled to a snowy area or live in a colder climate, your cat’s seats and cars often get dirty.
Wet shoes bring in road sludge, salt, mud, and debris that can get ground into your car’s carpet. This can leave behind long-lasting odors, mold, and bacteria, especially if the affected area is not cleaned and dried immediately. If you don’t clean the carpet or seats quickly, the smell and discoloration are nearly impossible to remove.
If your car experienced road salt this past winter, then be careful! Just like how salt can corrode the exterior of your vehicle, it can eat away at carpeting and upholstery and leave unsightly white stains.
You can either try to shampoo your car’s carpet and seats, or you can look to replace them! If you want to update your car’s interior, VIP European Auto can help. Get a free estimate today!
Be sure to take steps to keep your new interior clean. Invest in easy to clean materials that are durable, or research seat covers. Floor mats are also a great investment for spring, due to the increased rainfall.