It’s spring! (We hope.) Just as your home needs a regular spring cleaning to stay in peak condition, so does your car. You car spring cleaning checklist is a lot longer because spring is also an ideal time to make sure your car is running well and efficiently.
Pot holes, ice, and snow can compromise your car alignment, causing your tires to wear unevenly and need replacement prematurely. A car alignment can also cause your suspension parts to wear prematurely and result in hefty car repair bills. If you notice any signs of car alignment issues, or just to ensure that your car is properly aligned, make an appointment to get your car checked and repaired.
Have an experienced mechanic check your tires to see that they wear evenly, are not blistered or too hard, and have a reasonable amount of tread wear left (here are directions for a simple DIY test for tire tread wear if you want to attempt it yourself). Having good tires on your car can help you during summer driving, especially during thunderstorms and high winds.
Give your car a good wash after the winter snow melts to clean off the mud and salt from the roads. Take great to wash every part of your car from top to bottom, including the car under body.
Winter can do a number on the interior of your car, especially from the road salt on your shoes and the mud during the spring thaw. Vacuum the flooring and seats, wipe down the dashboard and steering wheel, and clean out cup holders. Shampoo the interior if needed.
We all know the common car myth that winter is hard on car batteries. The truth is that Wisconsin heat is harder on batteries than winter cold. If your car battery is more than three years old, or shows any signs of battery failure, have your car battery checked during your spring car check-up or at your next oil change.
If your car is making squeaking or grating sounds, it’s time to replace the pads or rotors that you need to safely stop. It’s normal for brakes to make occasional squeaking sounds when they get wet, but just as often your brakes are worn and in need of replacement. If you don’t get your brakes looked it, and possibly replaced, brake failure is inevitable—leaving you in the midst of an accident you caused or in a ditch waiting for a tow truck.
A clogged air filter can affect the performance of your car. While an air filter is not something that needs to be necessarily replaced at every spring car maintenance check (though it may need to depending on your driving conditions), an air filter should be inspected regularly—like at your next spring car check appointment.