Winter has been particularly harsh in many parts of the country this year. The frigid temperatures and massive snowfall have occasionally caused a scare or problem on the road network.
So, we are providing tricks on How to Prepare Your Car for Spring
With spring, many may think that the worst is over and you can relax… but not at all, as this time is treacherous weather-wise. You must perform a series of Vehicle maintenance tasks to avoid more expensive problems in the future.
In addition to the tips for driving in the spring, the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) offers a series of guidelines under the guise of prevention and caution to have the car ready when the weather conditions often change unexpectedly† In this inspection, always in your trusted workshop, it will be necessary to check:
How to Prepare Your Car for Spring?
Tire Check: Pressure and Pattern
Correct tire pressure is essential to drive the car well and prevent the tires from wearing out prematurely. If you notice that your car tends to pull to one side, your tires may not have the correct pressure.
You should already know how to check the tire pressure and be very careful if you notice that:
- Pressure lower than recommended: Warms up the tires and wears them out faster, and the car uses more fuel. In addition, the risks of slipping or aquaplaning are much more significant.
- Pressure higher than recommended: It can cause the tire to wear more in the center of the tread and is more likely to damage the suspension because the car is less resistant to bumps and potholes in the asphalt.
Be careful because the consequences of driving with insufficient pressure can be maintained even after being corrected, for example, if there is internal damage to the structure due to overheating or if the tread is worn unevenly.
Looking at the entrance of the tires is something you have to do several times a year. Ensuring the wear is even and checking the tread depth is important. To do this, a trick: What you can do is to insert a 1 euro coin into the tread. If you see the stars engraved on the coin, go to a workshop as soon as possible.
You can also opt for other more reliable methods, such as signs of weariness are small studs located in the grooves of the tread. When the tire tread reaches that indicator, it is a sign that the tire has reached the legal limit of use of 1.6 millimeters or depth gauges.
There are several types, and they can be purchased from auto repair shops or specialty parts stores.
Change the Pollen Filter & Air filter
Traffic brings a vast amount of airborne particles of dust, pollen, remnants of worn tires, brake pad dust, mites, and insects… which over time accumulate in the anti-pollen filter (also known as cabin filter†
Hence, it is essential to replace it even if you are not allergic, as it will not only prevent dust or other particles from entering the interior of the car but also help to keep the air conditioning ducts clean and thus prevent the spread of mites and bacteria† It is essential for people who suffer from allergies.
By changing the filters, you can also deal with the moisture in the crystals, although this also depends on where you are and the temperature. The hotter it is, the greater its ability to keep tiny water droplets in suspension and vice versa.
Therefore, condensation always occurs in areas where the air cools quickly, such as the windshield and windows. The first measure to reduce humidity is always keeping these surfaces as clean as possible. Why? Dust particles act like absorbent paper, attracting water and making precipitating in increasingly larger droplets easier.
The pollen filter invades particles to one micron (including pollen, dust, and most bacteria). This filter significantly reduces the air conditioning system’s ventilation and air exchange capacity at saturation.
If dirt builds up in the channels, so do the humidity and cultures of fungi and bacteria. That’s why it stinks in many cars when the air conditioning is on. In that sense, this air conditioning troubleshooting article can help you).
Battery Inspection: Examine the Status
The battery is one of the car’s parts that suffers the most from the winter. Low temperatures can quickly deteriorate it and cause the car to drop at any time.
If your car battery is more than four years old and you notice that it takes a few seconds from the moment you start the engine until it starts, you should consider replacing it (especially on petrol engines). Our battery-buying tips can help you.
To make sure there are no problems, it is recommended that the vehicle be driven around for at least an hour, preferably by road, and then rested for half an hour.
Fluid Check: Pay attention to the level of the Antifreeze fluid
Ensuring your car’s engine is running is essential as the temperature rises. Cool, well. If the warning light comes on, or if you last checked the coolant level a while ago, it’s a good idea to open the hood and check the fluid level. Most cars have a coolant level gauge.
If adding a little coolant is necessary, always do so when the car is cold and on a level surface. The opposite can be very dangerous.
Check wiper blades and washer fluid.
It’s not a trivial matter. Studies indicate that 7% of the time your car passes in gear will be with the brushes working. Considering that 18% of fatal accidents happen in the rain, it is clear that we should not skimp on the wiper blades, the key to good visibility in the rain.
Nowadays, wiper blades are on the market with a wear indicator that signals, without fear of being wrong, the moment when others must replace them.
If they don’t have it, the time will vary depending on where you live, how much you use them, whether the car sleeps in a garage or, on the contrary, has bad weather on the street (the sun breaks them quickly).
There are four distinct symptoms to detect when wipers can compromise driver safety:
- Stretch marks.
- Jumps and sounds.
- There are unclean areas.
It is also important that your windshield washer fluid level† is a solution that can get us out of trouble. Fill it with water, but with the continued use of tap water with a lot of limescale, the exhaust injectors can become clogged.
Some people fill with washing up soapy water, but these products usually attack the rubber and produce a lot of foam, even the pump system and thus the injection on the glass. Other products, such as certain glass cleaners from household use, contain ammonia in their formula, which is lethal to the life of the cleaners.
For this reason, it is recommended to use specific wiper products. They usually contain antifreeze (a type of alcohol indicating that it is flammable) on the bottle. This prevents it from freezing in the winter.
Check the brakes
Before you travel, you must check the condition of the brakes. If you notice that the brake pedal is hitting harder than usual, the car is taking longer to brake, or the brake light has come on, chances are you need new pads or discs. You can find more information in our article on detecting brake problems.
Also, check the brake fluid level, as it must not be higher or lower than the parameters set by the manufacturer.
Check the car lighting system.
The lights on your car are the key to seeing…and being seen. First of all, check that all lighting and signaling functions are working correctly.
If necessary, you will have to replace the bulbs that do not.
- It is essential to check the height and regulation of the lights. This prevents us from being dazzled on the road at night and guarantees optimum visibility. You can do it “old-fashioned” against a wall, but without a doubt, the best option is to do it in the workshop, where they will use a telescope.
- Remember, swapping car bulbs in pairs is recommended to ensure optimal system performance.
Cleaning the outside of the car
It makes little sense to have perfect headlights when the crystals and headlights are covered with dirt afterward. Proper car cleaning is essential to see and be seen well.
Pay special attention to these areas indicated by the DGT: windows, headlights, fog lamps, mirrors, and reflection. Not long ago, we told you ten car cleaning tricks (inside and out).
Loading with mandatory elements… and recommended
Remember to bring spare parts:
- A spare wheel with the necessary pressure
- A set of lamps
- Two approved triangles
- A reflective vest
If the destination is a mountain area, an ice scraper is not superfluous (although it is spring already, it can still freeze), and chains and gloves for the installation.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to take in the car (mandatory and other highly recommended items). And use the glove compartment to take handy things with you.