Preparing Your Car for Spring and Summer

car tire close up

At this time of year, when the temperature fluctuates from 75 degrees to 35 degrees within a single day, most of us are left feeling whiplashed, begging nature to pick a season and stick to it. But the changing seasons aren’t hard on us humans alone. The transition from driving in cold temperatures through ice and salted roads to warmer temperatures in the spring and summer also takes a considerable toll on our vehicles.

That’s why it’s essential to prepare your car for the shift from winter to spring. Give your vehicle some extra love this season with these seven tips to keep it running as smoothly as possible, for as long as possible—without costing you a fortune.

7 Tips To Prepare Your Car for Spring and Summer

Take care of your undercarriage.

Driving during the winter months in Baltimore means driving through snow, ice, slushy roads, and salted highways. While they are necessary to keep us safe, these road treatments can do a number on our undercarriages by causing corrosion which can rust your undercarriage and lead to worse damage in time.

Use a sturdy car jack or ramps to prop up your vehicle. Then using a hose, spray the underside of your car to remove any residue. Do not use soap or other chemicals; all you need to do is give it a good rinse!

Don’t ignore the rust.

Next, open the hood of your car and clean the engine block. Look for any leaves or dirt that may have slipped through the cracks during the fall and winter months and remove them. Then using a car washing mitt and warm soapy water, wipe down the engine block.

Scan the body of the vehicle.

Next, look for grime at the bottom of your car doors and throughout the vehicle’s exterior. Fill a bucket with water and pour a few capfuls of concentrated car cleaning solution into the water. Wet down the entire surface of the car’s exterior with a hose. Dip a large sponge or washing mitt into the bucket and scrub your car. It’s usually best to start with the roof and work your way down. It’s essential to clean your car regularly to avoid rust and buildup!

Check your windshield wipers.

Since your wipers have worked hard to clear snow and rain these last few months, you want to make sure they are still in good condition to clean your windows properly. The average life span of wipers is only six months to a year, so now could be an excellent time to replace them. They usually run for around $20, but prices will vary for each car. Also, check your wiper fluid pump to ensure you don’t need a refill. Refill if needed.

Check your tires.

If you have different tires for the summer and winter, now is a good time to change them. If you use the same tires year-round, make an appointment to get your tires rotated. Most service companies will rotate your tires when you have your oil changed. Check the tire pressure as well. Underinflation will cause your tires to wear out quickly and even reduce your gas mileage which we don’t want with high gas prices. Overinflation will cause uneven wear at the center of your tires, forcing you to replace them a lot sooner than necessary.

Check your battery and filters.

Clean your battery if needed. If there is a white corrosive buildup, use a hard toothbrush and baking soda/water mixture to remove it. You can have your battery checked for free at your local auto parts store to ensure it can still hold a charge. When cleaning your battery, check your air filter, which you should change according to your car manufacturer’s recommendation. If you live in a dusty climate or drive in harsh weather conditions, you will need to change it more frequently.

Check your coolant, oil, brake, and steering fluids. It would be best if you had your radiator flushed every two years as well. You might want to consider changing the oil type based on how hot the temperature gets in the summer where you live—research which oil is best for different climates based on your specific car manufacturer’s recommendations.

Clean the inside of your car.

car cleaning

Lastly, give the inside of your car a good makeover. Vacuum out any dirt or crumbs from your floor mats, take out any trash in the backseat and remove any junk from the trunk. Like your home, any mess in your car affects how you feel while driving it or when you give someone a ride. It’s all a reflection of how much you care for your investments. Cleaning the inside of your car almost always takes less time than you think it will. Give yourself this treat! You will feel great once you do.

Now, wait for a nice day to take your car out on an afternoon cruise. And if you or anyone you know is looking to donate a vehicle, check out these three easy steps on our website here.