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Car maitenance checklist for Spring

Car maitenance checklist for Spring

As the snow melts away in Nanaimo, BC, and the days grow longer, it's time to think about spring car maintenance. At Laird Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC, we understand the importance of preparing your vehicle for the new season. This guide will take you through a comprehensive checklist to extend the lifespan of your car, ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently.


Under the Hood: Fluids and Filters

Spring heralds an opportunity for vehicle care under the hood. Your vehicle's owner's manual is your best guide here, indicating when an oil change is due. Typically, this is every 8,000 to 16,000 km, but modern models may stretch up to 24,000 km without needing an oil change. An oil change ensures all internal components work harmoniously, providing adequate lubrication to moving parts.


While attending to your vehicle's oil, spring is the perfect time to pay attention to the transmission fluid. Often overlooked in regular maintenance, the transmission fluid is critical for your vehicle's health. Given the high cost of transmission repairs, this is an area to attend to.


And while you're peeking under the bonnet, don't stop there. Check your coolant levels to keep your engine cool and your brake fluid to ensure your brakes function optimally. It's also a perfect time to top up your windshield wiper fluid, ensuring clear visibility for those spring showers. 


Tire Care: Tread, Pressure, and Alignment

Winter can be harsh on tires. Inspect the tread for wear and ensure they're inflated to the correct pressure. Properly inflated tires refine fuel efficiency and handling. Additionally, consider a tire rotation to promote even wear and extend their lifespan. An alignment check is also advisable, mainly if you've driven on snow-laden roads. Proper alignment ensures your vehicle drives straight and reduces tire wear.


Transition to summer or all-season tires when temperatures rise above seven degrees Celsius for optimal handling on clear roads. Summer and all-season tires offer improved handling and performance on clear roads, whereas winter tires, designed for icy conditions, wear down quicker in warmer weather due to their softer tread rubber.


After swapping out your winter tires, ensure they're cleaned of any salt to avoid corrosion before storing them. A cool, dry place is perfect for keeping your winter tires in prime condition for their subsequent use. This simple step extends the life of your tires and ensures they're ready to perform when winter returns.


Brake System: Pads and Rotors

Your vehicle's braking system is essential for safety. Check for worn-out brake pads and rotors. If you hear squealing or feel vibrations when braking, it's time for a replacement. Even without audible cues, it's advisable to schedule regular inspections with a mechanic to assess the condition of your vehicle's brake pads and drums. Remember, timely maintenance of the brake system keeps you safe and prevents more costly repairs down the road.


Battery Check: Power and Connections

Winter's farewell is a reminder of the toll it takes on car batteries. The seasonal rollercoaster from chilling -40C to thawing temperatures puts your battery through a rigorous test of endurance and resilience. Since the average car battery has about three to five years of life, entering spring is a timely moment to assess your battery's health, especially if it's nearing or within this age bracket.


If your battery is approaching or has surpassed the three-year mark, consider this an opportunity to gauge its condition. Borrowing or renting a battery load tester from one of your local parts store is practical. This simple tool, used in seconds, can reveal much about your battery's health. It can tell if your battery is still fit for the road or if it’s time to replace it.


Remember, a battery on borrowed time is a gamble, especially with the demands of the upcoming seasons. A healthy battery ensures your vehicle starts reliably, avoiding unexpected inconveniences or breakdowns. So, as the snow melts and you gear up for spring adventures, make sure a battery check is on your maintenance checklist.


Exterior and Interior Cleaning

Winter's assault of salt and grime can leave your vehicle's exterior weary. A detailed wash followed by a protective wax rejuvenates its appearance and shields the paint from damage. Remove the floor mats and liners for a thorough wash, vacuum the interior, and ensure the mats are completely dry before replacing them. Use car-safe products to clean the windows, dashboard, and steering wheel, enhancing your drive and preserving your car's value.


Don't overlook the underbody! This area is most vulnerable to corrosive salt buildup. A high-pressure sprayer effectively cleans hard-to-reach spots, especially around the bumpers and wheel wells, where rust commonly begins. After washing, inspect for rust and address any issues to prevent further damage. This comprehensive care keeps your vehicle in prime condition, ready to face the seasons ahead.


Windshield Wipers and Lights

Ensuring your vehicle's lighting is in top condition is crucial for road safety. Regularly check both exterior and interior lights to guarantee they're functioning correctly. Give special attention to exterior lights by thoroughly cleaning them. Dirty or defective lights can fail to signal your intentions to other drivers, increasing the risk of accidents.


Winter takes a toll on wiper blades, subjecting them to snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. Additionally, abrasive sand and salt further degrade their effectiveness. If you notice streaks on your windshield post-thaw, it's likely due to nicks or tears in the wiper blade rubber or corrosion on the pivots. Addressing these issues ensures clear visibility during inclement weather and maintains safety on the road.


Spring into Action in Nanaimo, BC

Preparing your vehicle for spring is crucial for its performance and longevity. Follow this checklist to guarantee your car is ready to tackle the new season confidently. And remember, for expert care and advice, Laird Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC is here to help. Book your spring maintenance appointment today and drive with peace of mind this spring.

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