How to Prep Your Car for Spring

by Maddi Butler

As the snow, slush, and salt of winter melt away, we see more and more green. Warmer weather also means riding with the windows down in your car. It also means it’s time to get your car ready for being driven in the warm months.

Because the weather changes so dramatically, it can also affect how your car performs once it gets warmer. Here’s what you need to look for once the weather begins to warm up. You don’t have to take it in for a full inspection if it isn’t due, but at the very least you should look over your car just to make sure nothing is visibly damaged.

Pay special attention to the more fragile parts of your car, such as rubber seals that can dry out and crack. Shifting temperatures can affect your tire pressure, meaning it may no longer be in the ideal range. Be sure to check that as well—if you don’t know what your car’s ideal tire pressure is, check its manual.

The same temperature shift can also can cause leaks in the steering and braking system. As condensation freezes and unfreezes over the course of the winter, the lines are weakened. These are obviously necessary systems, so it’s vital to make sure they’re in working order. While you’re doing this, check your fluids and replace as necessary. Windshield wiper fluid tends to get low after a winter of wiping grimy slush away.

Also check to make sure salty roads haven’t damaged your vehicle. When salt sticks to metal it can cause corrosion. Look for corrosion, especially under your car. Salt can also damage your brakes, so if you’re noticing an unusual sound, don’t wait to get it checked by a professional.

Finally, give your car a wash. Salt residue can also damage your paint, so wash off the dregs of winter—your car will thank you, and you’ll be riding in style.

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