Monday 9th March 2015
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It’s easy to think about getting your car ready for snow, such as swapping tyres.  However, you also need to get your car ready for spring.

Here are some tips from us about what to do:

Clean the underbody  – get your car thoroughly washed here to remove salt, sand, grit and debris from the roads.  Dirt and grime can cause corrosion, leading to rust and that can really damage the car and make it hard to sell.  Use a jack to raise the car up and get a hose, with a high water pressure under the car or else take it to a car wash for special power washing under the body.  Remember to check inside the engine and remove debris and leaves, just use an old toothbrush to get into nooks and crannies.

Make sure you clean the underbody

It’s also a good time to inspect the suspension as frost, freezing temperatures and potholes can really impact quite nastily on parts of the suspension.  Shocks , strut, springs, ball joints and tie rods should all be checked out properly by a good mechanic.

Replace worn wipers – wipers get used more in the winter to remove snow, hail and rain so give them a bit of TLC when spring comes round.  Test them to see how well they clean the windscreen and if they are worn, dry and cracked then replace them.

Check fluids – change the oil regularly throughout the year to prevent engine wear. Also, check the coolant system as it works harder in warmer weather to prevent the engine from overheating.  Be sure that you have enough coolant in the system.  The fluids are likely to be much lower after winter so just check them and top up as needed.

Check the pressure of tyres with a pressure gauge as tyres are more likely to run flat if they aren’t properly inflated.  During the winter months tyres can become more underinflated and the warmer weather can make them overinflate.  You’ll need to check them for cuts, bulges and ensure they have enough tread.

Look after the paintwork – salt, grit and sand from the roads sprays up and can damage the paintwork on your bodywork.  Give the car a really good clean and wax it with a paste or liquid wax.  Pay particular attention to the bottom of the doors that catch the most debris and clean all the surfaces well.  Remember to clean inside too! Get a really powerful vacuum cleaner and give the car a good hovering.

Air filters need to be clean and if they are clogged up they won’t be able to do a good job in preventing dust and debris from getting into the combustion chambers of the cylinders.  The best thing to do is get the filter changed every six months or so.

The battery is under more pressure in colder weather so do give it some attention.  Inspect the posts and connections, make sure they are clean and secure.  If they are more than two years old you may want to think about replacing them.  Dirty spark plugs cause misfiring and waste fuel.  Your local garage will be able to give you advice on cleaning posts.

Last but by no means least we advise that you check that the brakes are working well. Winter salt can badly affect the metal frames of disc pads so get your mechanic to check they are working correctly and ask them to clean and lubricate the discs so that the brake pads don’t wear out too quickly.  While the mechanic deals with the brake pads he could also look for signs of wear in the rotors and drums.

Then your car will be road worthy to enjoy a nice summer drive and remember if you need parts contact