Spring has officially sprung, which means it’s time to usher out the old and bring in the new – and what better way to do it than by giving your car a thorough cleaning and checkup?
Because the winter can be rough on a vehicle, it’s important to not only clean the outside, but the interior too. That includes checking your vehicle for routine maintenance issues.
Clean the Interior
A great starting point is the interior of your car. Take the time to rid your car of everything and anything that may have accumulated during the colder months. This includes flyaway papers and wrappers, but also all the dirt, dust, and mud you may have accumulated over the course of the winter. The hidden perk of all the vacuuming you’ll be doing? You will be outside, enjoying the spring weather.
Give the Exterior a Good Washc
After you have cleaned the living daylights out of the car’s interior, it’s time to tackle the exterior. A good wash and wax will really do the trick in getting all the crusted-on road grime and salt buildup off your car.
Letting it sit can often lead to paint damage and even rusting which can cause other serious problems. If you can, try to get the undercarriage as well during your wash as it is most susceptible to rusting.
Want to maintain that squeaky clean shine of your car but are faced with tons of bugs in your grill? Here’s a pro tip – Keep a pack of dryer sheets in your car for those moments when it’s looking extra buggy. A dryer sheet will help removed all that baked on bug goo in little to no time.
Check Under the Hood
More than likely everything is okay – but it’s probably a good idea to make sure the winter weather didn’t dislodge any hoses or eat away at the likes of serpentine belts.
Check Fluids and Oil
It may also be a good idea to check your coolant systems to make sure your car won’t overheat, and just as a precautionary measure – maybe check your oil too.
If you live in a cold climate, you’ve probably experienced your engine not turning over on a cold day due to your car battery being completely drained. Signs that you may need to replace the battery are if you see signs of corrosion, it’s leaking battery acid, you have dim headlights, or if there are cracks or bulges on the case. One way you can test your battery is with a multimeter to see if it needs to be replaced.
Making sure your car stops properly is extremely important so your brakes should be checked regularly. Ways to check them include checking your car’s brake fluid level to make sure it falls between the “min” and “max” lines and checking the brake fluid which should be a golden color.
Check Your Tire Pressure
With the new season comes fluctuating temperatures, which means the tire pressure in your car will change. When it’s colder outside, the pressure in your tires will decrease causing you to put more air in. In the spring, you may actually have to do the opposite. If the tire pressure in your car goes beyond the manufacturer’s recommended amount, it can seriously affect your fuel economy and vehicle drivability.
You probably hit a couple of potholes over the winter (it happens to the best of us) and each time you did, you ran the risk of throwing your alignment and suspension off a little more each time. Now is a good time to have the tires realigned.
Another thing to check is your tire pressure to make sure each one is at the tire pressure they should be and they are wearing evenly. It’s a good rule of thumb to think about having your tires rotated every five to ten thousand miles, or at about the same time as you’d regularly get your oil changed.
If your windshield wipers are leaving streaks or if they are between 6 and 12 months old, consider replacing them.
You should also check your windshield for chips or cracks. Because glass expands and contracts as the temperature changes, if you do have a crack and the weather is getting warmer, the crack will increase in size. This will cause visibility issues and possible structural integrity of the windshield.
MAPFRE and Openbay+
If you find that you are in need of some car maintenance that goes beyond what you can handle on your own, MAPFRE has made the process of finding repair shops in your area simple through our partnership with Openbay+, a marketplace for finding and booking car maintenance and vehicle repairs online at up to 25% savings.*
Some of the popular services you can search for in Openbay+ include:
- Oil changes
- Brake pads
- General diagnosis
- Check engine light
- Wheel alignment
- A/C diagnosis
- Transmission flush
- Brake fluid
When customers use Openbay+, all services are guaranteed through Openbay+. *
We hope these tips have you and your car ready for your spring driving adventures! And if you’re not a MAPFRE customer yet, contact an Independent Agent in your state or if you live in Massachusetts, you can get a fast, free quote today to see how much you could save on your auto insurance.
*Program available to customers with the MAPFRE Loyalty Rewards Program Endorsement CIC-2237 or CIC-2238 attached to a MAPFRE policy, as indicated on your Declarations Page.
Terms and Conditions
By this offer, MAPFRE U.S.A. Corp. and its insurance affiliates (collectively, “MAPFRE”) provide you the opportunity to access the e-commerce marketplace for automotive repair and services provided by Openbay, Inc. (“Openbay”). Openbay is responsible for the operation and performance of any products and services associated with its e-commerce marketplace. Participation in the marketplace and use of any product and associated services will be subject to Openbay’s terms and conditions, which you should read before you access any product or service offered by Openbay.
MAPFRE has no control or influence over the design or quality of the Openbay e-commerce marketplace, including any product or the services provided by, or on behalf of, Openbay. MAPFRE assumes no responsibility or liability with respect to the performance or the actions of Openbay or its agents. If you have any questions or experience any difficulties regarding the product or any associated services, you must contact Openbay.
This offer (including these terms and conditions) DOES NOT change, in any way, the coverage provided by your MAPFRE auto insurance policy. In the event of an auto related loss, whether or not involving the products or services offered by Openbay, the terms and conditions of your policy will determine the availability of insurance coverage.
This offer is being provided to you as a MAPFRE insured. MAPFRE may, in its sole discretion, terminate your ability to access the benefits provided by this offer at any time, including, without limitation, upon the termination of your MAPFRE auto insurance policy.