Category Archives: spring car cleaning checklist

Spring Car Maintenance Checklist: 14 Items that’ll Keep You on the Road This Summer

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Family in convertible car smiling when spring car maintenance is doneIt’s FINALLY spring!  Time to gear up for summer fun: road trips, camping, days at the lake, and all the other exciting parts of summer.  Don’t forget to ready the car or truck that gets you there so you can make sure you get to the fun without a breakdown on the side of the road (and melting in our hot humid weather).

____Get your alignment checked (here’s why you should get your alignment checked in spring).

____Get your snow tires removed (find out when to remove your snow tires here).

____Check your tire pressure (here’s how to check your tire pressure).

____Inspect your tires to see how much tread is left (use this easy test) and for any blistering or hardness.

____Give your car a good wash, especially the underbody (to remove the salt).

____Vacuum and clean the interior.

____Have your battery tested to make sure it can make it through the summer (the truth is that heat is harder on batteries than cold. Read up here.)

____Inspect your brakes to see if your pads or rotors need to be replaced (signs of failing brakes here).

____Check your air filter to see if it’s dirty.

____Make sure your car is up-to-date on oil changes.

____Have your windshield wipers replaced (if needed).

____Check all your headlights and tailights to make sure they work.

____Have your transmission fluid flushed (here’s how to know if you need it).

____Have your spark plugs replaced (know when it’s time with these signs).

If you don’t have the time (or expertise or equipment) to get all the items checked off your spring car maintenance checklist, make an appointment to get your car ready for all the driving that a fun summer requires.

Car Spring Cleaning List

car getting spring car washIt’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.

Alignment

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.

Tires

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.

Exterior

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.

Interior

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.

Battery

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.

Brakes

worn brake pades & rotorsIf 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.

Air filter

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.