If you haven’t had your car serviced in a while, Spring is a good time to take it into a mechanic to prevent any major problems from occurring while you’re on the road. Here are some maintenance tips to keep your car running safely this season.
Change Your Oil and Fluids
Engine oil breaks down and wears out over time. Mechanics recommend changing your car’s oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles to ensure your engine is lubricated, which allows the internal parts to work without overheating. Spring is a good time to flush your transmission fluid too. Transmission fluid is a liquid that acts lubricates all the moving parts inside your transmission. It also serves as a coolant and a viscous fluid that transmits power from the engine to the transmission in automatic transmissions. Manual transmission fluid should be changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Consider changing your automatic transmission if your car has logged between 60,000 to 100,000 miles.
Check Tire Pressure and Rotation
Staying on top of tire pressure is important in the spring. Cool temperatures in the winter decrease tire pressure, but as the air gets warmer in Spring, tire pressures increase. You don’t want your tire pressures to increase past your manufacturer specification because it will affect handling and fuel economy. Consult your car user manual to find out what is the right amount of pressure. Make sure you check the pressure in all your tires, including your spare. Mechanics recommend tire rotation every 5,000 miles to keep tread wear even. If you don’t rotate your car tires, it can lead to driving problems.
Replace Wiper Blades Damaged by Winter Weather
It’s a good idea to check your wiper blades in Spring for any wear they may have sustained over the Winter. You want functional, undamaged wipers for the Spring rains. If your blades stick to the windshield or your windshield gets streaky from using the blades, you’ll need to replace them. New blades are easy to install yourself, or you can have your mechanic make the switch when you take the car in for other maintenance, like an oil change.
Review Your Alignment and Suspension
Does your car feel like it’s pulling to one side? Do you notice vibration in your steering wheel as you drive? Does your car rock when you go over bumps even at low speeds? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could have an issue. Over time, driving over rocks or potholes can damage your car’s alignment or ruin your suspension system. Take your car to a mechanic for a diagnostic. They will be able to tell you if your car needs an alignment or replacement shocks or struts.
Always Keep an Eye on Your Brakes
Your brakes are one of the most important, if not THE most important, system in your car. Neglecting your brakes can lead to costly repairs down the road. Have your brake system evaluated regularly by professional mechanics. Try having them inspected every 10,000 miles, or simply have them checked during every oil change. Brake pad and shoe replacement are recommended every 20,000 and 60,000 miles. A brake fluid flush is recommended every 2 years or 30,000 miles.