Winter subjects your car to harsh weather conditions. Rain, wind, snow and salted roads wear out vital car components including your car’s tyres and suspension system. Even the inside of your car could be suffering the effects of trapped moisture which can breed mould and cause your interior mats and upholstery to smell and rot. Giving your car a spring check should be like a spring clean for your car – an opportunity to overhaul the interior, exterior and check on the parts of your car that are key to its proper functioning.
The inside of your car
Undoubtedly you have cleaned the inside of your car during the winter, but the warmer weather offers you the chance to remove your mats and give your carpets a vacuum and a shampoo. This is best done on a warm sunny day, when you can leave the doors and windows open to ensure the carpets get completely dry. Look for water spots under carpets before shampooing them. This is to distinguish signs of water penetration, something that could lead to more expensive and serious problems later on, including corrosion. An expert will be able to advise on the water’s entry point and the necessary repairs. Consider investing in some new mats and some spring scented air freshener to mark the change of seasons and the refresh of your car.
The outside of your car
A build-up of mud, grime and salt can make it difficult to spot signs of corrosion and damage done by stone chips. Your focus will be on removing build-up from the bottom of the car and this can be done most effectively by beginning with the roof and allowing the soap to soak into lower areas of your car. If you can, use a hose to clean the underside, prioritising the front and rear wheel arches. Be gentle with delicate areas and don’t spray water on areas made of rubber or on oil seals. Having the underside cleaned is often included in a spring garage check.
Before you take your car on the road for that much anticipated spring drive through the countryside, check your tyre pressure, inspect tyre threads for wear and damage, and ensure they meet the minimum depth of 1.6mm. Make sure that your brake, reverse, head and parking lights are working and that windscreen wipers have not been damaged by the months of wintry showers. Your windscreen wipers may need replacing or at least cleaned to protect your windscreen. A battery check is important and you will want to investigate for any signs of corrosion. The fluid levels in your car could also have been affected by the colder months and are likely to be depleted. Check on your car’s levels of oil, coolant and windscreen wiper liquid.
Spring is also a good time to take your car for a routine service check. Your trusted garage will have a seasonal checklist that is likely to include a brake inspection, a check of your car’s exhaust system and an examination of your windscreen.