After a long, cold winter, temperatures are rising, the air is fragrant with spring blossoms and the open road is beckoning. Cold and icy weather takes a toll on several important components in your vehicle. Before you pack the picnic basket and take a drive with the windows down, use this five-point checklist for spring car maintenance to make sure nothing interrupts your day!
1. Test Your Car Battery
Winter’s chill makes your battery work harder and saps its strength, shortening its lifespan. Most of the time, there’s no warning that your battery is about to die. Since the battery is the life force of your vehicle, when it fails, you’re stuck!
Avoid finding out the hard way by scheduling a battery inspection through our AAA Mobile Battery Service. Your AAA Battery Service Technician comes to your location to run a Full System Test and determine if your battery is still in good shape. If it needs to be replaced, the Technician’s truck carries an array of batteries to conveniently replace yours on the spot!
2. Change Your Oil and Filter
Bitter winter weather is hard on your vehicle’s oil and filter. Cold temperatures can cause your oil to become thicker and flow slowly, putting a lot of stress on your engine. Once the chill leaves the air, it’s the perfect time to schedule an oil change to keep your engine purring like a spring kitten.
3. Check Your Tire Pressure
Did you know that for every 10-degree cold shift in the air temperature, your tire pressure decreases by two percent? Winter weather causes tires to become underinflated. Low tire pressure can be very dangerous. As we head into springtime, it’s important to check the pressure (PSI) of your tires in the morning before you start your car. Check your owner’s manual to make sure the pressure readings match the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle.
4. Refill Your Transmission Fluid
Winter wreaks havoc on your car’s transmission, which can lead to very costly repairs. If it gets too cold, the parts contract, causing damage and leaking of transmission fluid. Plus, the fluid can thicken in chilly weather, reducing its ability to lubricate interior parts, causing further damage. In spring, check the transmission fluid level and refill if needed.
5. Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades
Frosty temperatures, ice and snow damage wiper blades, making them warp, bend, crack and tear. It is estimated that 46 million drivers are operating vehicles with wipers that cannot adequately clear their windshield, creating hazardous visibility during April showers. Be sure to replace this important safety component in spring to ensure you can see clearly.
Does Your Vehicle Require Spring Maintenance?
If something does go wrong while you’re on the road, AAA is here to help 24/7. Call (800) AAA-HELP, download the AAA Mobile App or go online at AAA.com/Battery to schedule your battery service. We’ll send a trained technician to solve your problem and get you back on your way.
If you’re in need of any spring car maintenance or repair, schedule an appointment at any of our Car Care Plus or AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities.
Deena Grabowski is the Director of Corporate Communications at Club Assist.