The changing of the seasons is often one of the best ways to time basic automobile maintenance. Spring is at hand, to help your car make the change from winter to spring, some auto repair and maintenance is sorely needed to correct the damage from winter and prepare your car for better days ahead. As you plan all of your outdoor spring projects, giving your car a quick going over inside and out is a great place to start
Tire Care-Even if you have all season tires, this is an excellent time to inspect your tires to determine if they need replacement. While you inspect, look for indications of uneven wear, or where your tread is more worn on one or two spots of some tires but not others. Rotate your tires and/or have a computerized tire alignment performed on your vehicle
Remove Bad Interior Smells---After a long winter, the interior of your car can really smell bad. Melted snow combined with closed ventilation can really cause a mildew-like smell in your vehicle. To help get rid of the smell vacuum the interior of your vehicle. Use a stain remover to clean away any stains. Also, use an odor-lifting product such as Febreze on your seats and floorboards. This will make your car or truck smell like a new car.
Take A Close Look--Do a close visual inspection of the underside of your vehicle. Even if your car, truck, or SUV came with rust proofing or you had this package added, road salt and other winter driving factors can do a number on both the outside and underside of your vehicle. Rust proofing rarely lasts the lifetime of most cars and you may need to get yours updated. If you find your vehicle is just too grimy or streaked to make an adequate assessment, consider going to a car wash that offers pressurized cleaning that can go up beneath the frame. Spot washing is great, but it won't remove the leftover salt and debris that may be impacted in the wheels and in structures beneath the passenger or engine compartments. Look at your vehicle lights to be sure all are operational. Even a small thing like a burned-out marker plate light can cost you a ticket from the police and perhaps marks against your driving record in some states that can affect the price of your car insurance. A dead headlight can make it very hard for you to see even if a cop doesn't happen to see you. Determine if it is time for a tune up, an oil change, and the all-important drainage and replacement of your radiator/coolant liquid. These are all jobs you can tackle yourself even if you aren't America's best mechanic. Explore under the hood, take a sharp look at your belts and hoses. Anything that appears cracked, leaking, or otherwise damaged warrants swift replacement. Some of these you can do yourself while others you may want to hand off to a mechanic
Organize Your Vehicle--A lot of times, winter can cause havoc on the organization within your vehicle. Start by cleaning out any trash and removing unneeded items like that ice scraper. Go to the store and buy containers and trunk organizers to keep everything in order. A trunk organizer can neatly store away jumper cables, flashlights and emergency tools. Interior organizers can help keep track of pens, paper and other things rolling beneath the seats and on the floorboards of your car or truck.
Once the critical repair and maintenance are complete, you can drive happily into those warm spring days and nights. Keeping your vehicle clean not only protects your valuable vehicle investment, it also fosters a sense of pride and accomplishment.