Top 10 Tips for Springtime Car Maintenance

Posted by , , at 6:42 am

At last, winter is over and spring is here. We’re happy to be free from the bitter cold and the endless piles of snow. I’m sure our cars – if they had feelings – would be equally as glad.

During the winter, our cars take a beating. We have to beg them to start in the morning, frozen door handles fall off, and they drive over pothole after pothole. Not to mention the road salt that can cause corrosion and rust.

Before you take your battered vehicle out on springtime drive, make sure it’s up to speed by fixing it up a bit, inside and out. Here are 10 tips that get your car in top shape for the spring, summer, and beyond.

  1. Clean out the interior
    Whether we mean to or not, our cars often become portable storage units. There’s no telling what sort of junk is put in the trunk and forgotten about! It often happens during the winter, when it’s too cold and you don’t feel like cleaning your car. Now that it’s warmer, it’s time to remove all the clutter and trash.
  2. Replace windshield wipers
    Allstate recommends that you replace your windshield wipers every six months to a year, depending on your climate. Snow, ice, and salt in the winter can wear out the rubber wiper blades quickly, so make it a part of your spring routine to swap them out.
  3. Adjust tire pressure
    Did you know that air pressure changes with the seasons? Check your tires to see if they are at the correct pressure. Different pressures are recommended for different cars, so read the car manual or the inside of the car door to see the best for your vehicle.
  4. Check fluid levels
    There are many fluids in your car, so it’s important to check all of them to see that they’re filled and that there are no leaks. Don’t skip any of these: engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, and windshield washer fluid.
  5. Clean the undercarriage
    Road salt makes our cars look like they rolled around in chalk, but it can also cause serious damage. A lot of it can get stuck to parts of the undercarriage and corrode the metal. Clean out the undercarriage as soon as you can either by washing thoroughly or taking your car to the car wash.
  6. Inspect the brakes
    Brakes are critical to your everyday safety, so it’s important to inspect them on a regular basis. Salt, ice, and other debris from the winter can wear out brakes faster. Warning signs that your brakes might be on their last legs include squeaking and soft presses on the pedal.
  7. Adjust suspension and align wheels
    Potholes appear out of nowhere during the winter, and it’s never a pleasant feeling when you run over them. They can also damage your suspension and cause your wheels to become misaligned. Aligning your wheels will improve gas mileage, so fix them as soon as possible.
  8. Take a look under the hood
    Batteries, plugs, wires, hoses, and belts can all crack, leak, and wear. This is bad news because damage to these can cause your car to sputter and shut down. Make it a point to check on important components annually and to replace them every few years – or as recommended by your car’s manual.
  9. Get an inspection
    When all else fails and your car still feels less than 100 percent, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing some of these steps yourself, take your car to a professional. Let them know about any issues and ask for recommendations.
  10. Get a car wash
    Complete your springtime car maintenance by giving your vehicle a thorough clean. Get rid of dirt, grime, and lingering road salt/sand.  Your car will look great and you’ll get a small morale boost after the winter doldrums.

Don’t let winter cause problems for you in the spring. Take some time to give your car a little maintenance, so you can be worry-free as you drive in the warm weather!

Have any more car tips for your fellow readers? Share your knowledge with everyone by posting in the comments below!

Comments (20)

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  1. Jon A. Lafferty

    Thank you for your article. I found this useful.
    Jon A. Lafferty,Car Accident Lawyers Lima, OH

  2. Danni Black

    I really like your tip about looking under the hood of your car to make sure that things aren’t cracked, leaking, or wearing. I have noticed that the connectors to my car battery are looking very old so I have been thinking about taking my car in to get replaced. I’ll have to keep these tips in mind in the meantime, thank you for sharing!

  3. Regina Bree

    This was such a helpful article! I had no idea that salt and ice could effect my brakes! I also could NOT figure out why my car as been squealing every time I slowed down quickly. Thank you!

  4. Sammy Wright

    Brilliant post! These are most useful and must. My car has been running a little bit funny lately. I should go for a repair shop. Thanks for this.

  5. Natalie Darcy

    I agree that brakes are a really essential part of the car, and I have been neglecting them in my own car just because I didn’t really know how to check them. After this last winter I did have a problem and I had to take my car to the mechanic to have it fixed, but I still don’t really know much about the regular maintenance. Do you have any information on how to check them and what specifically I need to look for? Thank you for such a thorough article.

  6. Beth B. Bearce

    All the methods that you have mentioned in your post are must-to-follow steps for driving and increasing more referral traffic to your blog. One must follow these steps to increase their traffics. Personally, I never focused at comment sections seriously, but after reading your blog, I will initiate this practice as well. Thank

  7. michael hinderliter

    you should always do some type of seasonal maintenance all the time along with your basic as well because things like tire pressure and so forth change based on temp outside and that and can cost you money because if your tires are not inflated properly you will use more fuel, so keeping up on some of these basic things will save you money and a headache in the long run.

  8. Kyle O'Ren

    I highly recommend getting an inspection. I get one at the beginning of winter and the beginning of spring every year to make sure everything is in working order. I know I could check some things myself, but I’m sure I’d miss something so I go to a professional.

  9. Hazel Owens

    I like your advice to check the brakes during the springtime. I usually wait until my car’s brakes start squeaking to inspect them, but I should really do it much more often. Like you said, salt and ice can wear the brakes down faster, so I’ll be sure to check them after the winter ends. Thanks for the article!

  10. Aria Wellington

    My brakes have actually been squeaking a little bit here and there. I have been wondering if I need to get them checked out. It seems like it would be really helpful to get them looked at on a regular basis. I will have to see if any repairs need to be made.

  11. emily bennette

    I liked tip number six about getting your brakes inspected. That way you know your brakes are working properly. It would be a smart idea to get them looked at before a big road trip. That way you know your car will be in good working order while you are driving.

  12. Vivian Black

    I have an older car, and I want to keep it running well for as long as possible. I hadn’t thought of doing some of the tasks in this article like cleaning the undercarriage. I also appreciated the advice to remember to replace my windshield wipers; it’s definitely been over a year since I’ve done that. Thanks for a helpful list!

  13. James Bergman

    I think you should probably check all of these things more than just once a year. I normally give my car a thorough check in the spring and in the fall. This way I have a better idea of when I need to fix or replace things like the brake pads and spark plugs, which don’t need to be replaced as often. Everything else on your list, like checking tire pressure and washing my car I try to do once a month.

  14. Jackie Oliver

    I really need to do better about keeping up on all the little things in my bar. I really like what you said about keeping good wipers on your car. I always think that with it’s raining or snowing, but then when it’s sunny I seem to always forget. I also like what you said about always checking your fluids, and making sure they are topped off.

  15. Judy Wilson

    Having my car regularly inspected by a mechanic seems like great advice. I’ve been meaning to take my car in for a routine inspection now that it’s spring. My car has been running a little bit funny lately, so a mechanic should be able to tell me what might be wrong with it and the repairs that it needs.

  16. All About Imports

    These are some very good and I think important car maintenance tips when a season changes so that driver can be worry-free as they drive in the warm weather.

  17. Kael Wilson

    Awesome post! After a frozen winter, I was looking for car maintenance tips for spring and I got your article. I got many new ideas from your article. I will remember these points and implement them too.

  18. Eliza Cranston

    Thank you for the car maintenance tips! I’m a first-time car owner and I don’t really know what I’m doing, so I’ll put all of these into practice. As far as brakes go, are there repairs/maintenance work I can do myself or should I always take it in to a mechanic?

  19. Byrd Greer

    Great Article! These are most useful and must – do spring time car maintenance steps (I call these points as steps, not tips) and it is listed in the correct order here. Getting a regular (once in a week/month) is a good idea.

  20. thomas

    Brilliant post! We all think we’re the only ones who store anything and everything in the trunk because it’s just too cold! So definitely agree that it’s a great idea to give it a clean. Checking fluid levels is a great idea too; particularly brake fluid as low levels are a sign that your brake pads may need replacing.