6 Simple Maintenance Steps for Your Car

Motor oil

If you thought Winter would be rough on your automobile, you may be surprised by just how much damage Spring and Summer can have. Keep your car running this Spring with some easy-to-follow steps to prepare it for the warmer weather ahead.

Check Your Suspension and Alignment

Over time, driving over rocks or potholes can damage your car’s alignment or ruin your suspension system. Do you notice a vibration in your steering wheel as you drive? Does your car feel like it’s pulling to one side? Does your car rock when you go over bumps even at low speeds? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could have an issue. Take your car to a mechanic for a diagnostic. They will be able to tell you if your car needs an alignment or replacement shocks or struts.

Change Your Oil and Check Fluids

Mechanics recommend changing your car’s oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles to ensure your engine is lubricated, which allows the internal parts to work without overheating. Engine oil breaks down and wears out over time. Spring is a good time to flush your transmission fluid too. Transmission fluid is a liquid that acts lubricates all the moving parts inside your transmission. It also serves as a coolant and a viscous fluid that transmits power from the engine to the transmission in automatic transmissions. Manual transmission fluid should be changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Consider changing your automatic transmission if your car has logged between 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

Rotate Your Tires and Check Air Pressure

Make sure you check the pressure in all your tires, including your spare. Staying on top of tire pressure is important in the spring. Cool temperatures in the winter decrease tire pressure, but as the air gets warmer in Spring, tire pressures increase. You don’t want your tire pressures to increase past your manufacturer specification because it will affect handling and fuel economy. Consult your car user manual to find out what the right amount of pressure is. Mechanics recommend tire rotation every 5,000 miles to keep tread wear even. If you don’t rotate your car tires, it can lead to drivability problems.

Inspect Your Wiper Blades

With temperatures rising in Spring, it’s a good idea to check your wiper blades for any wear they may have sustained over the winter. If your windshield gets streaky from using the blades or if the blades stick to the windshield, you’ll need to replace them. You want functional, undamaged wipers for the Spring rains. New blades are easy to install yourself, or you can have your mechanic make the switch when you take the car in for other maintenance, like an oil change.

Inspect Your Brakes

Your brakes are one of the most important, if not THE most important system in your car. Have your brake system evaluated regularly by professional mechanics. Try having them inspected every 10,000 miles, or simply have them checked during every oil change. Neglecting your brakes can lead to costly repairs down the road. Brake pad and shoe replacement are recommended every 20,000 and 60,000 miles. A brake fluid flush is recommended every 2 years or 30,000 miles.

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