While you’re snuggling with your dog under blankets on the couch, your car is outside freezing its bumpers off.
Cold temperatures, snow and ice – plus all the chemicals used to treat slippery roads –hammer your car all winter. It’s up to you to help it bounce back. Here are eight things to fix on your vehicle once we roll past the worst of the wintry weather.
Kick the Tires
Tires lose air pressure every month and every time the temperature drops by 10 degrees, said AAA Media Relations Manager Robert Sinclair Jr. Check the air pressure as soon as you can and inspect them for bulges, cracks and bruises on the sidewall, which could lead to a blowout if ignored. You can find the recommended levels on the door jamb sticker or inside the owner’s manual.
Hopefully it hasn’t gotten so bad that a neighbor left a finger drawing on the back windshield. Regardless, wash your car regularly to get rid of road salt and other chemicals that cling to the undercarriage and cause rust.
Wipe Troubles Away
Don’t be that person who hangs out the car window to see every time it rains or snows. If the rubber on your vehicle’s wiper blades leaves streaks behind, replace them.
Cigarette smoke and wet floor mats can create residue on the inside of the windows that can make it hard to see. Clear them with some glass cleaner.
Snowy boots can leave behind ice melt residue and dirt on your interior carpets. When snow season is over, vacuum and shampoo the carpets.
Go With the Flow
Certain fluids require more attention than others. Take some time to get to know where the fluid reservoirs are in your car. While you’re there, fill up the washer fluid and learn how to check the level of important ones like coolant and motor oil.
Beyond fluids, there are important parts AAA’s Car Doctor John Paul likes to inspect at the end of winter. He gets under the car and sees if something like a mound of ice has damaged the muffler system or other major parts. If you suspect serious damage, consult a professional.
It might be one of the furthest things from your mind, but now is a good time to see if the air conditioning works. If not, get it fixed before it gets hot.
It’s also important to have your battery checked this time of year. Did you know AAA will come to your home to check your car battery and replace it on the spot, if necessary? Click here to learn more.