Car-on-the-auto-repair-servic-36494293April is National Car Care Month and spring is the perfect season for vehicle maintenance! After a tough winter, our cars are negatively impacted by the snow, ice, salt and freezing temperatures. Come springtime, we are so thankful not to be driving on icy roads that we often forget to have our vehicles inspected. To decrease your chance of a breakdown on your spring break, long weekend trip or summer vacation, consider the following checklist of repairs that your car may need post-winter.

Tire Inspection

Cold temperatures can cause tires to lose air so when spring arrives, you could be driving on low-pressure tires. This can become a danger for you and your passengers if the tires cannot properly carry the weight inside of the vehicle. Blowouts and the inability to steer are just a couple of the risks you take by driving on underinflated tires. Your vehicle will alert you when PSI is low, but you should have the levels checked after winter ends regardless of whether or not the signal light comes on.

Brake System Check

No matter what season it is, functioning brakes are of the utmost importance when it comes to vehicle safety. The salt used to treat icy road conditions in the winter can build up on your rotors and brake lines, causing them to rust prematurely and potentially fail. If your brake pads are grinding or squeaking, have them replaced in the spring when you don’t have to worry about snowy conditions overworking them.

Suspension and Alignment

Winter weather creates potholes, which slowly ruin our cars’ shocks and struts each time we hit one. You can try to avoid them, but damage can be done to your vehicle after hitting just one pothole. Once spring is underway and road construction starts, have your suspension and alignment checked. The forceful impact of hitting a pothole can cause shock or strut leaks, as well as power steering malfunctions.

Fluid Levels

The cold temperatures of winter can cause your vehicle fluids to thicken, especially when you do not allow the engine to warm up before driving. The engine, transmission and brake fluids, as well as the anti-freeze/coolant levels should be checked and any viscous fluids should be flushed. Each fluid has its own suggested replacement time, but freezing temperatures can diminish their lifetime.

Windshield Wiper Replacement

April flowers bring May showers, which means you’ll need functioning windshield wipers in order to see on the roads. Wipers continually freeze and thaw throughout winter, causing them to crack. They can also become worn from scraping ice off your windshield, resulting in poor performance come springtime. Luckily, they are inexpensive to replace and you can easily get the fluid level checked by a mechanic.

Thorough Exterior Cleaning

Salt helps keep our cars from sliding on the ice, but can cause severe damage to the undercarriage. It causes the metal to rust, which comprises your vehicle’s frame. As the corrosion continues, the components that protect your car from the elements wear away, exposing you to many dangerous risks. Not to mention, your car will look much older than it is when the paint starts to chip away!

While vehicle repairs might not be on the typical spring cleaning list, it is to your benefit to follow this checklist after harsh winter weather. At DaSilva’s Auto Body, we can provide full service vehicle maintenance to prepare you and your ride for a safe driving season.