The birds are singing, the trees are budding and your engine is making that weird clunking sound again. Your vehicle faithfully saw you through the worst of the winter - now’s the time to give back some love and make sure you’re on schedule for cleaning and maintenance.
Maintaining a regular cleaning and vehicle maintenance schedule not only prolongs the life of your car, but also helps you maximize your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and reduce your vehicle’s carbon emissions. Win-win! Here are a few tips from our top spring maintenance posts:
What's involved in a tune-up?
It depends on your vehicle, but a typical tune-up will involve the inspection, cleaning and/or replacement of:
- Air filters
- Fuel filters
- Spark plugs and wires
- Distributor cap and distribution ignition rotor (if your car has them - some newer models have distributorless ignition)
- PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve and gaskets
- Sensors and belts
- Lubricants and coolants
- Ignition timing
- Tire alignment and tire pressure
- Car battery
- Windshield wipers
Regular tune-ups can help you save on fuel - and having a professional perform a thorough cleaning and diagnostic of your vehicle can help avoid costly future repairs by catching potential problems early.
Keeping your car interior clean isn't just for car pride - having a dirty car interior can actually impact your health. A study conducted by Queen Mary University in London found that around 700 different harmful germs lurk in our car's interiors. And, if you're like me and suffer from allergies, riding around in a car filled with pollen, dust mites and other germs can depress your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and flu.
If, like the average Canadian, you and your family are spending an hour in the car every day, keeping that environment clean can go a long way towards keeping you healthy.
How should I prepare my winter tires for storage?
Thoroughly clean the winter grime from your tires and make sure to remove any brake dust, which can be corrosive. If your tires are mounted on wheels, be sure to clean the wheels as well with a cleaner approved for use with that type of wheel.
Make sure your tires are completely dry. Then, seal each tire up in an opaque plastic bag, removing as much air as possible (some folks use a vacuum cleaner to get the air out).
Be sure and mark each tire bag with the tire's original position (Front Left, Back Right, etc.), so that you can replace or rotate your tires come next winter. Now your tires are ready for storage!
When is the best time to rust-proof? There are mixed opinions on whether spring or fall is the best time. An article in Auto123.com says that spring is better than fall because “The mild-to-warm temperatures will allow the products to better penetrate the treated areas.” Also, your vehicle is usually dredged with salt over the winter and we know that salt helps rust form on your vehicle. Getting your vehicle rust-proofed in the spring will ensure that all the salt is cleaned off thoroughly and that there won’t be any remnants of it over the summer.
How do you shake winter off your car and prep it for spring? Share your tips in the comments!
- Rose R.