Spring is one of the prime times for auto maintenance. That first wash-n-wax on a warm Saturday afternoon is liberating. Winter’s gloom (to say nothing of grit and road salt) is literally washed away. Take out the snow shovel, the gloves, and heavy boots and store them ’til next season. Surely summer can’t be far away.
Some preparation now will help ensure that your summer driving plans go as smoothly as you envision them. ASE offers the following tips on getting your vehicle ready for summer:
- Read the owner’s manual and follow the recommended service schedules.
- Have hard starts, rough idling, stalling, etc. corrected before hot weather sets in.
- Flush and refill the cooling system (radiator) according to the service manual’s recommendations. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically.
- If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, look for repair facilities that employ ASE-certified automotive technicians.
- The tightness and condition of belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a qualified auto technician.
- Have a marginally operating air conditioner system serviced by a qualified technician to reduce the likelihood of more costly repairs.
- Change the oil and oil filter as specified in owner’s manual. (Properly dispose of used oil.)
- Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended.
- Check the condition of tires, including the spare. Always check tire pressure when the tires are cold.
- Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs.
- Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer solvent on hand to combat summer’s dust and insects.