GET YOUR CAR READY FOR SPRING WITH OUR MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
Spring is an essential time of year to perform car maintenance in B.C. After months of driving through cold, wet weather, your vehicle needs to get ready for warmer weather and the summer. Whether you’re planning a spring break road trip or a June camping excursion in the mountains, here’s a spring car maintenance checklist to ensure your vehicle is good to go.
- Remove your winter tires
Although winter tires aren’t mandatory in every province, many drivers in Western Canada choose to install them anyway. In fact, many routes in British Columbia require winter tires until April 30. To avoid damaging your winter tires, it’s important to swap them out for summer tires when the weather gets warm. A good rule of thumb is to remove your tires when the weather gets above an average of 7 C.
- Rotate your tires
Since tires wear unevenly, rotating them ensures there’s an even amount of use across all four tires. You should rotate them every 8,000 to 10,000 kilometres. If you’re swapping out your winter tires, your mechanic will check that your summer tires are appropriately positioned according to wear.
- Get an alignment check
Do you find your steering wheel pulling to one side? If so, this may be an indication that your wheel alignment is out of spec. This issue is often the result of a winter spent hitting snow-covered curbs and potholes. Spring is a great time to get a wheel alignment.
- Change the oil and check the fluid levels
Check to see if you’re due for an oil change before going on a long road trip. Most vehicles require one every 5,000 to 8,000 kilometres. Additionally, it’s important to top up your coolant and windshield wiper fluid. Transmission fluid should be flushed every 30,000 to 60,000 kilometres, depending on driving conditions and the make and model of your car.
- Inspect the brakes
Well-functioning brakes are crucial to the safety of yourself, your passengers and other road users. After a long winter, have a technician inspect your braking system, including the brake pads and rotors. Your brake fluid may also need to be replaced. In general, brake fluid should be changed every two years or 24,000 kilometres.
- Wash your car
Give your car a thorough washdown by hand or look for a touchless car wash. It’s also a great time to clean the interior by vacuuming the upholstery and washing the car mats.
Additionally, open the hood and remove any accumulated debris. Use a car wash mitt and warm, soapy water to wipe down the engine block. Use a silicon spray for the doors and windows to keep the seals tight and dirt free.
- Check the undercarriage
When you’re driving through rain, ice and slush, salt, sand and other road treatment residues can cause damage to your vehicle’s undercarriage. Check for signs of corrosion or rusting and power wash the undercarriage. Alternatively, visit an automatic car wash with spraying machines that target the underside of your vehicle. This’ll ensure all road salt is removed and help prevent rusting and other damage.
- Check the battery
Inspect the battery and look for white corrosive buildup on the terminals. Clean it with a stiff wire brush and a mixture of baking soda and water. Get a battery checkup at your local auto repair shop to ensure it’s holding an adequate charge.
- Change the air filters
Most vehicles have two air filters: one for the engine and one for the cabin. Over the winter, dust, mould and mildew can accumulate in the cabin air filter, leading to nasty smells in your car. A dirty engine air filter restricts the airflow needed for adequate fuel combustion and reduces efficiency. Get both filters changed during your spring car maintenance tune-up.
- Check the windshield wipers
Your car’s wiper blades take a beating during the winter. Most wiper blades last about six months. Post winter, change your windshield wiper blade to improve visibility and ensure a safe ride. Remember to check the wiper fluid pump and refill the reservoir.
- Check the lights
Your vehicle lights allow you to communicate with other drivers and help them see you, even during the day. Check your turn signals, brake lights, headlights, marker lights and daytime running lights to ensure they all work. Don’t forget to check your licence plate bulb, too!
Book a Spring Tune-Up for Your Car in Vancouver
At Minit-Tune Brake & Auto Centres, we can get your car ready for the summer season with a spring maintenance tune-up. We’ll inspect your car from bumper to bumper to ensure everything is clean and running smoothly. Contact us today at one of our locations throughout B.C. to book an appointment or learn about our current promotions.
Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres Address Common Issues
Here at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres in British Columbia, we’re always pleased to help our customers get the most out of their cars and trucks. To that end, we’ll add a relevant blog topic from time to time to keep you up to date and getting the most out of your vehicle.