auto maintenanceDuring the winter months, it is often easy to forget or ignore some of your car’s most basic maintenance needs. The harsh weather and cold temperatures do little to invite you to spend extra time outside with your car. However, now that your car has made it safely through the winter, it’s time to do some routine maintenance to help your car recover from the harsh conditions it has endured.

The first step to sprucing up your car is actually a simple decluttering and cleaning. Many cars accumulate a good level of clutter during the winter season – everything from holiday candy and forgotten gifts to tire chains and windshield scrapers. Removing the extra weight from your car will not only help you improve your gas mileage but will also help increase your car’s longevity.

Once the inside of your car is clean, it’s time to turn your attention to the outside. Give your car a thorough wash to get rid of all the dirt and gunk that has built up during the winter. This is particularly important if you live in an area where salt is put on the road during the winter months. The salt can cause your car to rust (especially the underbody) so be sure to carefully remove it.

At this point it is time to look under the hood. Change and check your oil and fluids (especially your coolants) according to your owner’s manual or take it in to an auto repair shop for a comprehensive tune up.

The final step is to check the condition of the different parts of your car. Protect yourself against spring showers with good windshield wipers and against the summer heat by ensuring that your windows and air conditioner work properly. Another important area to check is the pressure of your tires. Since cold temperatures can cause your tires to contract, your tire pressure may have changed during the winter. Make sure that your tires are filled to recommended pressure to ensure your best gas mileage.

This simple maintenance routine will help ensure that your car is in tip top condition all throughout the spring season.