Your car can take you near and far, but only if you take care of it in return.  April is National Car Care Month and it’s your opportunity to show your ride the love that it deserves.  Your car has battled snow, ice, salt and potholes for months on end.  Now that Winter is in the rear view mirror, certain aspects of your car need a little more TLC than others.  


A good thorough wash and wax is important for your car once the winter is over.  Winter driving can cause a huge amount of road debris and, worst of all, salt to build up on your car.  You want to make sure that the road grime is long gone before spring starts.  Having debris and grime build up on your car can affect its paint and finish, and furthermore salt build up can lead to rust and more serious problems.    


Disinfectant wipes work best in your car or SUV’s cabin. It is the cleaner most used by manufacturers of most automotive interiors today, but if you are unable to find disinfectant wipes, soap and water will work too. Spend extra time on the steering wheel since that is likely to carry the most germs from your hands.  Use disinfecting wipes to clean all surfaces of the steering wheel.  Including the redundant controls for radio, voice control, cruise control, navigation, and paddle shift levers.  Also, clean the door and center console armrests, display screens, cup holders and shift gear.  Don’t forget the door “grab handles” as those are touched more than people realize.  


Tire pressure is especially important in the spring.  As air temperatures get cooler during the winter, tire pressures decrease, which is why you may have filled up more in the winter months.  As the air gets warmer again in the spring, the pressures can increase.  If the pressure increases past your manufacturer specifications, because you added more air in the winter, it can seriously affect your car’s drivability and fuel economy.  This is an important part of car care!


Your wiper blades can suffer a lot of damage during the winter.  The cold temps can cause them to crack  and chip.  Turning them on to clear off a thin layer of frost instead of scraping off the windshield and waiting for it to defrost,damages the blades resulting in a streaky performance in rainy conditions.  Most blade manufacturers recommend that you replace your wiper blades every six months if you notice they are not properly clearing your windshield as they should be.   


Do a thorough check under your hood to make sure your car’s engine survived the winter without problems.  Specifically,  check belts and hoses to ensure cold temperatures haven’t made them brittle or heavily worn.  Inspect your coolant to make sure it’s not too old,  as this is important to avoid overheating as temperatures start to climb.  Contact a local mechanic if you aren’t comfortable doing these checks on your own. 


Why are oil changes important?  Regularly scheduled oil changes help maintain a healthy engine. As motor oil lubricants and cools the engine, it naturally picks up impurities.  This is good!  What’s not so good, however, is that oil becomes less effective as it ages.  That’s why regular oil and filter changes are so important.  If it’s too old, your motor oil can’t do its job and protect your engine.   


Lastly, chips and cracks are common in the winter months due to changing temperatures and extra road debris. It is important that if your windshield has any large chips or cracks, that you get this fixed, as your windshield is an important structural component of your vehicle. A damaged windshield compromises the safety of you and your passengers if you were to get into an accident. You can get an online quote from Defender Auto Glass and we will come to you for the repair. It’s as easy as that!