Spring Car Maintenance

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April 5, 2021

Spring Car Maintenance Checklist


After a season of snow, ice, and salt-coated roads, our vehicles could probably use some TLC. There are some common tasks that come around every spring and can make a big difference to your car’s safety and overall performance throughout the year. Extremes in both heat and cold can wreak havoc on your vehicle. So before temperatures rise, make sure the chill of winter hasn't caused any issues.


Check Over the Exterior


Winter brings an onslaught of road salt, grit and grime that can accumulate and eventually corrode. The first step to making sure your car is in top shape as it enters spring and summer is to give it a thorough washing from top to bottom, including the undercarriage. Once it’s squeaky clean, waxing now and throughout the spring can keep your car’s finish looking good longer. Here are some more seasonal tasks to check out:


  • Tires: temperature fluctuations and rough winter roads could affect tire pressure, the treads could be worn, you might need to change out your seasonal tires, and it could be time to rotate
  • Paint: if you’re seeing chipped areas you can often find matching paint at auto stores, or get in touch with a professional to touch things up before rust sets in
  • Lights: salt and road debris can dull the surface – spring is a good time to buff out scratches and check bulbs
  • Wiper blades: ice, snow, and salt can break down the rubber and cause smearing or squealing – fresh wiper blades help with visibility during spring rains
  • Air conditioner: test to make sure you’re getting cold air, aren’t hearing any odd sounds or noticing any foul odors
  • Windshield: ash, sand, or broken asphalt can become projectiles, chipping or cracking your windshield and creating a potential safety issue


Take a Look Inside


Your car’s cabin can get a little beat up over the course of winter. You’re rushing in and out of the vehicle just trying to keep warm, not giving much thought to the salt and snow that’s tracked in. Well now is the time to give it some love. Take a nice warm day, open up doors, stream your favorite playlist and air things out. Check these must-dos for a ride that’s looking its best this spring:


  • Rubber mats: these trap all the grit and salt residue you bring in on winter boots – take them out and give them a thorough scrub 
  • Rugs and upholstery: a detailed vacuum will remove dirt but also expose stains or damage that can be addressed
  • Air vents: these are often overlooked but can trap dirt, grease, and allergens
  • Air filters: as we head into allergy season clean filters are a must


Critters often like to take shelter in the ventilation system. If you find acorns in the cabin air filter a thorough once-over of the electrical system is a good plan too. Mice and other creatures like to gnaw through wires and can cause major issues when you’re out on the road this spring. 


Investigate Underneath


Everyone knows that regular oil and filter changes along with tire rotation are necessary maintenance tasks. But they’re even more important after a rough winter. So definitely don’t delay on any scheduled service. In the meantime, here are some other things to look out for when you’re getting ready for spring road trips:


Under the Hood

  • Remove Debris: wind and rodents can move tree and road debris under your hood, potentially interfering with operation.
  • Battery strength: extreme temperatures can wear on a battery – before the heat of summer kicks in check the strength and replace or recharge if necessary
  • Fluid level: windshield washing fluid gets used up clearing salt and debris and antifreeze is in high demand during cold months –– make sure that summer’s heat doesn’t find you without enough coolant and if other fluids are low check for leaks before refilling
  • Hoses and belts: a harsh winter can break down rubber belts and cold, brittle hoses can develop leaks – issues with cooling or steering could be a first sign



Under the Vehicle

  • Struts and shocks: potholes created by winter’s freeze/thaw cycle can do a number on your car’s suspension system – use common tests or ask your mechanic to check things out
  • Wheel alignment: whether from potholes, a near miss on the ice, or another winter driving hazard, all that maneuvering can get your car’s frame out of whack – pulling to one side is a clear sign
  • Brakes: Road salt or debris could have built up – check the entire system for wear and listen for grinding, chatter, or squeals


You might want to look into getting a general tune-up to ensure that electrical systems and components are working properly. And now that snow and ice are gone and you can clearly see your driveway, be diligent in checking for any puddles or staining under your vehicle – usually an obvious sign of a leak. It also can’t hurt to check for recalls using NHTSA's Recall Look-up Tool before heading out on that long-awaited road trip. Once all the boxes are checked and repairs performed it’s time to get out and enjoy the drive, knowing that you’re safe while on the road this spring and summer.


Seasonal Safety With Althans


Here at Althans your protection is our top priority. We know that every season has its risks and that planning is key to safety. So we'll be here dispensing timely tips, offering robust auto insurance policies, and giving you the reliable customer service you deserve. You can rely on us this and every season. Reach out if you’d like to learn more about our trusted auto insurance providers or inquire about coverage options – we’re ready to help!