With spring right around the corner drivers will be hitting the road running down warm weather and greener pastures. Now is a great time to get your car ready for the long and winding roads ahead. A little car maintenance will go along way in keeping your car rolling down the highway and running at it’s most efficient.
Here in Central Texas it seems that my wiper blades get neglected the most out of all of the parts of my car. Summers are hot and rain is sparse so they hardly get used. It’s usually one of the few days that it rains and i use them as they rip apart across my windshield or when I go to inspection and fail.
Replacing a wiper is easy, takes less than 5 minutes and usually doesn’t require any tools. It’s recommend by mechanics that they get replaced at least once a year around fall. Generally we abuse our wipers a lot more in winter with road grime, cleaning fluids and general use to wipe away rain.
Blades typically cost from $10-$20, and come with all the parts needed to swap them out with the older pairs. Be aware that your specific vehicle may call for an unmatched set meaning that one blade may be long than the other. Refer to your owners manual or store catalog.
Check your spare tire
Out of sight, out of mind is what usually happens to the spare tire. Sitting underneath the truck or buried in the trunk the spare tire is over looked and forgotten until needed. The spare should be inflated to the recommended PSI listed on the side of the tire and the tire should be inspected for any damage that might have been caused from road debris or storage. Trucks usually have the spare tucked away under the bed using a cable lift system, this should also be inspected to ensure smooth operation up and down. Tire pressure is said to drop 1 PSI for every 10 degrees drop outside, so check your tires frequently.
Oil isn’t the only fluid your car needs. It’s important to check these other fluids ensuring they’re topped off. We can start with an easy one, windshield wiper fluid. Replacement fluid can cost anywhere from $4 a gallon to $15, and comes in many different styles including some that have rain repellent built in.
Anti-freeze/coolant are the next on the list. Check the levels on the over flow receiver and replace the fluid up to it’s corresponding mark do not add to the radiator. Diligence must be practiced also, as green and orange coolants to not mix and can cause damage to your cooling system.
Frequently over looked, the air filter needs to be replaced up to two times a year. Clean filters help with air flow, which in turn helps with fuel economy. No tools are required to change them and they cost between $10-$55 depending on brand and quality.
Here in Texas summer time can be brutal on your car battery’s life. Inspect the battery for corrosion around the terminals and posts, a white powder, that forms around connections. Clean this off with a wire brush, and reattach the batter terminals to the posts making sure everything is snug and firm. An anti-corrosion insulating gel can be purchased and applied to the posts also.
Next check the battery’s water level. If low refill with clean distilled water. Battery’s are inherently dangerous, use caution and follow the safety instructions listed on the battery.