Spring is here! The sun is shining, the flowers are appearing and the road trips are being planned. It also means it is time to take your car to First Gear Automotive for the spring maintenance package. Winter is hard on vehicles, giving your car a good inspection in the spring makes sure that it will drive you into summer problem free. This is our check list for spring so you can take your mind off your vehicle and onto your next adventure.
Check Your Belts & Hoses
Many of the belts and hoses in your car contain rubber and plastic. At below zero temperatures these materials can harden and crack. This makes spring an important time to check all your hoses and belts to look for any damages. Replacing any belts may also require replacing the tensioner and pulleys to ensure the new belt does not slip. The tensioner ensures that the belt delivers enough tension while you’re driving, so that the belt can move the various pulleys that drive the engine components.
Replace Your Wiper Blades
Winter ice and snow can wear out your wiper blades. Replacing them in the spring will ensure you are able to see clearly through all of the spring showers and summer storms. First Gear’s spring maintenance package includes a windshield wiper replacement making sure you have the best blades for the season ahead.
Test Your Charging System
In our Winter Ready article we talked about the importance of running your car in the winter to keep the battery healthy. Spring is a perfect time to have an AVR (alternator voltage regulator) test which tests the battery and the alternator to see if it is accepting the right amount of charge. Many people think the battery powers the electrics in your car, but that is not the whole story. The battery provides the electricity needed for the electric starter motor to start the car. Once the car is running it’s the alternator that creates the energy to supply the electrical system and charge the battery. Alternators tend to last about 7 years or 150,000 to 200,000 kilometers when taken care of. A Battery typically lasts 3- 5 years before needing to be replaced.
Compare Your Lighting
Check to make sure that all of your head lights and tail lights are working after winter. It is also important to ensure that the covers of your lights are clean, polished and free of debris so that your lights can shine bright. Rain, heat sunlight and road conditions can all cause your headlight cases to turn cloudy. First Gear Automotive offers a cleaning and polishing service for your light cases to ensure that your lights are shining bright. For more information on the benefits of putting LED lights on your vehicle check out our Light It Up article.
Check the Brakes
Brakes can rust quickly when they sit for long periods of time without being used. Rotors can also rust quickly when not in use. Rotors are part of your brake system and work with the brake pads to stop your car. Moisture can easily get to the rotors, especially in the winter and will rust them. After only a few weeks of inactivity your rotors can become so bad that they need to be machined or replaced. You can tell the brakes have gone bad if you feel grinding when applying the brakes, and/or hear a high pitched squeaking noise. Having them checked in the spring when you get your tires switched over makes sense to ensure they are working at ultimate performance.
Fluids & Filters
Making sure that all of your vehicles fluids are topped up and don’t need to be changed is an important step in your spring maintenance check list. Also checking to see that all of your car’s filters are free of debris and are working properly. For a full list of your cars fluids, filters and when they need to be changed read our article here.
Swap Your Tires
Living in a climate with extreme weather differences, requires a different set of tires for winter and summer. Having tires that are made to handle the specific weather of the seasons ensures a safer drive. It also means that both sets of your tires will last longer. Check our summer tire article to answer all of your tire questions.
Clean It Inside & Out
Over the winter salt accumulates in all of the nooks and crevasses of your car, especially the undercarriage. Road salt corrodes and creates a chemical reaction when water and air are combined, damaging the metal of your vehicle. The repeated use of salt exposure can cause rust. As you drive along the salted roads, the salt splashes up onto your vehicle’s undercarriage and sticks. The stuck salt corrodes the undercarriage metal and eventually eats through the material. A car wash that washes the under carriages in the spring will make sure this rusting doesn’t happen. Spring means the nice weather is coming, which means road trips and cruising with the windows down and music up. If you want the inside of your vehicle to look as nice as the outside First Gear offers a full detailing service. Making your car look and feel as good as new.
Book your spring maintenance package today. It includes an oil change, tire swap, wiper blade change, headlight clean & polish and all over inspection starting $199.99