Get Ready for Spring With Routine Maintenance
Winter is (technically) over. And with the weather turning, there’s no excuse not to take care of the important tasks you’ve been neglecting. In regard to your vehicle, there are a number of spring maintenance items you should take care of in order to keep it running safely and smoothly.
During the winter, our roads are covered with sand and salt. Road salt is highly corrosive and precipitates rust on your vehicle’s body. That’s why it’s very important that you wash your car at least once a month during the winter. However, most people neglect that monthly duty when the temperature is far below zero.
But don’t get carried away. Washing carelessly can lead to paint damage. If you’re washing manually, use separate rinse and wash buckets. If you’re using an automatic wash, consider a touchless or gentle-touch wash. Some even offer undercarriage washing to blast the dirt and salt away from your chassis – an important service after winter.
Spring is a good time to get your oil changed, too. Experts recommend that you get your oil changed roughly every 6,000 to 10,000 kilometres. Timely oil changes are a simple part of routine maintenance that protects your engine for the long-term and improves fuel economy in the short-term. But that’s a broad estimate. Exact oil life depends on your vehicle, your oil variety, and your driving habits.
Driving habits that tend to reduce the life of your oil include short drives, stop-and-go traffic, and aggressive acceleration. And winter driving decreases the life of your oil even further. Cold starts and excessive idling both accelerate oil wear. The point is that if you haven’t changed your oil during the winter, you’re probably overdue. Bring your vehicle to Capital Ford Lincoln and we’ll give you a high-quality oil and filter change while you wait. The Works oil change package even includes an inspection of up to 83 points on your vehicle
Running cold, driving through snowbanks, and sliding around on ice isn’t easy for your vehicle. That’s why it’s prudent to have your vehicle thoroughly inspected in the spring. Winter conditions often knock wheels out alignment which leads to a host of other mechanical problem, in addition to being patently dangerous. An alignment check is a quick and inexpensive piece of preventative maintenance. Other systems are more easy to evaluate on your own, even if you have limited mechanical knowledge.
For example, anyone can check the depth of their tire treads. Transport Canada asserts that the minimum safe tread depth for your tires is 4mm or 5/32”. You can check that with a tread depth gauge, or with a coin. If you have a toonie, just set it in the treads. If the tread only covers part of the letters in the silver ring, then you should probably replace your tires. And if it reaches the gold centre, you have plenty of life left in your tires.
Other things you should look for on your own include:
- Malfunctioning lights
- Cracked hoses and belts
- Fluid leaks
- Worn wiper blades