Wintery conditions can do a real number on your vehicle – and the Alberta climate is no exception.
While it’s important to get your car ready for winter, it’s equally imperative that you have it looked over in the spring as well.
To give you an idea of what a spring tune-up looks like, here is process to ensure your car is in tip-top shape for warmer weather:
The Spring Tune-Up Process
1. Taking Off Your Winter Tires
Once the temperatures start rising above 7°C, it’s time to have your winter tires swapped with your all-season tires. The rubber treading on your winter tires will wear out faster in warmer conditions.
Plus, there are mandatory dates in some areas of Canada that require you to remove studded winter tires by May 31st.
2. Tire Rotation
When you have your winter tires removed, it’s important to take this opportunity to have your tires rotated as well. This involves switching your front tires to the back and your back tires to the front.
This is due to the fact that your vehicle’s weight is not evenly distributed on your tires and your treads will wear unevenly – especially your front tires because they carry the brunt of the weight.
Rotating your tires will extend the lifespan of your tires and improve gas mileage with your vehicle as well.
Our expert technicians can assess the air pressure in your tires and rotate them to prevent uneven wear.
3. Check the Alignment
Wintery weather conditions can cause wear and tear on your suspension and wheel alignment. When this happens, you may notice your steering wheel off-center or pulling to one side while traveling at high speeds.
Although this can also be caused by uneven wear of your tire treads, it is likely due to an alignment issue.
4. Fluid Replenishment
All vehicles require regular fluid changes and your owner’s manual will tell you how frequently these need to be done. However, spring is a good time to have your fluid levels checked.
When the temperature outside gets colder, the fluids in your vehicle can thicken and become more sluggish. For this reason, you should always get an oil change and have your fluids checked before winter hits.
Alternatively, you should also ensure that no fluids are going to cause issues in the spring as well. Have them checked and replaced if needed.
5. Brake Inspection
Winter can be rough on your brakes and not having them checked in the spring can cause you costly repairs in the future.
Your brakes, including the pads and rotors, should be inspected to make sure they are in good working condition following winter road conditions.
Park Muffler’s skilled technicians offer brake repair, replacement and maintenance services to ensure that your vehicle can safely stop on a dime.
6. Change Air Filters
Many vehicles are equipped with air filters for both the engine and cabin to ensure that you are your passengers are not breathing in harmful substances such as mildew, mold and allergens that can accumulate during the winter.
Not only will this keep you healthy but it will help to maintain the health of your engine as well.
When you have your vehicle in for a spring tune-up, make sure you have your air filters replaced.
7. Replace Wiper Blades
How many winter mornings did you clear off your windshield by turning on the defrost and letting your wipers do the work?
Even if you are an avid scraper, wiper blades take a beating from snow, ice and freezing weather as well as from the abrasiveness of sand and salt.
If you notice streaks across your windshield as the weather warms up, your wipers could have nicks and tears along the rubber edge – or the pivots could be seized from salty corrosion.
Unless your windshield wipers survived winter and are still in good condition, you should have them replaced during your spring tune-up.
8. Battery Test
Every time you turn your key to start your car, the battery has to kick into gear – which can be difficult when the temperatures are below zero.
Extreme fluctuations between temperatures and seasons can also take a toll on your vehicle’s battery.
While batteries should last between 3-5 years, it’s always a good idea to have the load tested in the spring. The last thing you want is to have your car battery die and leave you stranded.
9. Belt Inspection
Slush, salt and sand from winter roads can affect your vehicle’s serpentine belt and cause it to break down or squeal.
While the squealing sound may seem like more of an annoyance, cracks or missing segments of your belt’s ribs can cause serious and costly damage to your vehicle.
Inspecting the serpentine belt is easy to do but you should have a licensed mechanic take a look at it at least once a year. They’ll have a better understanding of when it should be replaced.
10. Check the Lights
It can be impossible to determine which lights are and are not working from inside your vehicle. Are you sure that other driver honked at you because they were having a bad day? Or is your vehicle lacking working brake lights?
When you take your car in for a spring tune-up, have the mechanic check the lights as well. They’ll take a look at your turn signal bulbs, brake lights, headlights, marker lights and daytime running lights.
Bulbs are easy to replace but can cause serious safety issues if not working.
Spring Maintenance for Your Vehicle
Once your vehicle is all tuned-up and ready for spring, it’s important to ensure that it operates at peak capacity during the warmer months.
Here are tips to keep your vehicle well maintained this spring:
- Check the temperature gauge – it will let you know if your car is overheating.
- Keep an eye on the coolant – especially if you use air conditioning in your vehicle.
- Check your tires’ air pressure – fluctuating temperatures can affect the amount of air in your tires.
When you’re ready to get a spring tune-up for your vehicle, feel free to contact our expert and professional team of technicians at Park Muffler – we can help you with all of your vehicular needs!