Spring is a great time to put some extra care into your vehicle and Tim’s Truck Capital is your hub for automotive service.In some cases, you'll be able to perform these procedures yourself. Others are best left to a mechanic to handle. While nearly all of these efforts will make your vehicle look better, our main concern is helping your car perform more efficiently and get as much as possible out of its components.
Here are Our Top 5 Tips for Spring Car Care
Our customers often ask us for tips and tricks when it comes to keeping their SUVs on the road, so we are sharing our spring service recommendations with you. Read on to see our top recommendations for helping your vehicle shake the winter blues.
- Get rid of road salt on the undercarriage
Road salt can damage your vehicle by eating away at its undercarriage. Use a garden hose with as much water pressure as your system can muster to loosen winter grime and salt. Or, if you have a movable lawn sprinkler that's low enough, set that under the vehicle to wash away what you can't reach.
- Check and rotate your tires
Tire pressure changes about 1 pound per square inch for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit change in outside temperature, so it's important to check tire pressure after weather changes. Check your owner's manual for the recommended pressure for your tire, and never exceed that. Always check pressure when the tires are cold, since driving even a couple of miles to the gas station can provide a false reading. Higher pressure generally results in improved steering response and fuel economy, but a stiffer ride, and it wears out the tread in the center. Underinflation generally provides a smoother ride, but it causes tires to wear out at the sides. It also wastes gas because tires need more power to push the vehicle.
Rotating your tires is a relatively simple car care procedure that will extend the tread on all of them, and should be done roughly every 10,000 miles. You can check your owner's manual for exact intervals, but we have found that a good habit is to rotate tires after every oil change.
- Change the oil and oil filter
Speaking of oil changes, we would be remiss without mentioning one of the easiest and least expensive options when it comes to keeping your car well cared for. Some manufacturers recommend changing to a heavyweight oil to help the engine perform more efficiently during hotter weather.
Most cars now have recommended oil grades between 5W-30 to 15W-50. You can just ask us which oil we recommend for your vehicle or once again check your owner's manual to tell you which kind of oil you need to use. You should also change the oil filter each time you change the oil, since it's obvious that a dirty filter won't keep the new oil clean.
- Check the battery, spark plugs, and fuses
Make sure battery posts and connections are secure and free of corrosion. Spark plugs fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles. That's a lot of heat and wear and tear in the form of electrical and chemical erosion. Dirty spark plugs cause misfiring, which wastes fuel. If you're planning a long trip, consider replacing the battery and spark plugs if they are more than two years old.
- Clean the cabin and replace air filters
Appearances are important, no matter what the season. Discard the debris that's been hibernating under the seats all winter, then attack the cabin with the most powerful vacuum cleaner you can find. Remove the floor mats to vacuum or wash outside the car. Open the trunk, remove the spare tire and jack and vacuum here, too. Before returning the spare, check its pressure. Most likely it will need air, so remember to do that next time you fill the tank.
You want the air you’re breathing to be free of debris and you want your vehicle to be as efficient as possible. That\s why it is important to clean and swap out air filters at regular intervals. We recommend checking your driver’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends for filter maintenance.
Dust, coffee stains and fingerprints have no appeal aduring any season, so after vacuuming the carpets and seats, use a spray vinyl cleaner and a soft cloth on the entire interior. This includes the dashboard, steering wheel, door panels and seats. That also helps protect against cracking, sun damage and fading. A good household upholstery cleaner is fine for fabric seats but for leather seats we always recommend following the manufacturer's recommendations.
Those are our top spring service and car cleaning tips. Still have questions for us? Want to set up a service appointment? Visit our service center online or give us a call to schedule an appointment today.