April is National Car Care Month. Local car care experts are celebrating the month by providing advice to local motorists on how to keep their cars running in top condition this spring.
Here are some areas to monitor during National Car Care Month:
Engine fluids – Engines are also forced to work harder during the winter months, which can cause transmission and break fluids to degrade. It is important to check all of the car’s vital engine fluids such as transmission, coolants, braking and steering on a regular basis. Most critical is to have the engine’s oil replaced every 3,000 miles. Regular oil changes are considered the single most important thing anyone can do to maintain the life of their vehicle.
Air filter – A car’s air filter should be changed each year or every 15,000 miles. This gives the vehicle a good supply of clean air and prevents poor fuel economy and performance. A convenient time to have the filter checked or replaced is during oil change appointments.
Brakes - Brakes are exposed to snow and salt in the winter, so spring is a good time to monitor their condition for the overall safety of the vehicle. Brake performance is especially important during the spring, when increased rainfall leads to many slick, wet roads. Any warning signs such as screeching, pulling to one side or vibrations are indications to take the car for a service inspection as soon as possible.
Tires - Motorists should check tires’ air pressure, as it can fluctuate in colder temperatures during the winter months. The proper air pressure will help tires last longer and give the car better gas mileage. Spring is also a good time to check the tread on the tires and have them rotated at the next service visit to promote even wear.
Windshield wipers - It is recommended to check the condition of windshield wipers with increased rain during the spring. Fluid supply should also be monitored as wipers also get extra use in the spring with the buildup of pollen on the windshield causing a daily rinse.
April is the ideal time to reassess vehicle maintenance needs, as many people delay proper safety inspection during the winter months. The harsh effects of winter weather can take a toll on the exterior of a car. The warmer weather of the spring presents an opportunity for owners to assess how a car has held up through the damaging effects of winter and to prepare their vehicles for upcoming trips in the summer months.