A post-winter check-up
Finally…the winter is over. That cold spell over the Easter break had to be it for this year, surely! While we cannot predict the weather, we do want to think that spring has finally arrived and that temperatures will slowly start to rise as the days get longer and longer. Whether or not there is any more cold weather to come, we can start to get ready for the summer and while we often use this time of year for a spring clean of our homes we often overlook our cars. They have worked hard over the winter, particularly this year which has seen a number of snow and ice events and more days that we care to remember of very low temperatures, and they do need a bit of love and attention to make sure they continue to run well and keep us and our loved ones safe on the road.
This month, and in the hope that there will be no more cold spells, we have put together a checklist of things to look out for as winter turns to spring.
- Check your tyres. Check the pressure, depth of tread, and the overall condition of all four tyres. While this is something you should check regularly, after a harsh winter it is particularly important to give them a once-over. The legal tread limit is 1.6mm; anything less and you must change them. Tread depth is important as it will help you brake effectively, safely change direction suddenly if you need to, and clear surface water – key for the forthcoming April showers. You can check the tread depth by inserting a 20p coin into it; if you can see the outer rim of the coin, then it’s time to replace your tyres.
- Change from winter tyres. If you switched to winter tyres over the last few months, then now is the time to change back if you haven’t already.
- Check your battery. This one is even more important if you don’t use a vehicle regularly and it has been sitting in a garage for days, weeks, or even months.
- Check your heating and air conditioning. Spring is that in-between time when you can have both cold and hot days. You could be turning the heating on in the morning to de-mist your windshield and the air conditioning during the afternoon to cope with those hot spring days! Make sure both are working and get them serviced if necessary to make sure your journey is comfortable and safe.
- Check for salt corrosion. The use of salt and grit to de-ice roads is bad news for cars as it can have a corrosive effect on metal and paint. Check your car’s undercarriage for signs of salt corrosion or rust and give it a good clean to get rid of any leftover traces. Don’t forget the wheel arches too.
- Give your car a good clean inside and out. Dirt and mud will have been tracked in by adults, kids, and pets alike and will find its way on to the seats and carpets no matter how careful you are. A deep clean will remove any traces leaving your car clean again. If you are considering selling, it is a good idea to clean the interior regularly so that you don’t end up with stains that you can’t remove – they will reduce the value of your car when you come to sell.