Spring means warmer weather, sunnier days, and a lot more to do in the great outdoors. There are also a bunch of seasonal attractions and events this time of year, so it’s no wonder most people put more miles on their cars in spring than they do over the winter. Before you start adventuring out to see what the world is like after vaccination, take some time to be sure your car is ready. Winter can take a toll, after all, so check out these essentials:
- Brake pad thickness
- Fluid levels and color
- Body inspection for damage
- Valve and hose rotation
- Manufacturer-recommended maintenance
- Seat covers and interior upholstery
Some of these items are essential to being safe on the road, others are just about keeping your vehicle in great condition so you can enjoy it while making sure it holds as much value as possible. Your owner’s manual has everything you need to determine when scheduled maintenance like a transmission fluid flush and change should happen, to start. If you’re not sure what features your vehicle has because you bought used, a quick VIN lookup should tell you key information like whether you have stock or upgraded systems in the areas where your manufacturer offered upgrade options.
After that, check out the body for damage. Usually, winter leaves a few dings and scratches to patch. Rarely, something bigger like a cracked fender from ice damage will show up. You’ll also want to check out how your vehicle’s various fluids look, the amount of brake pad you have left, and the condition of your valves and hoses. End it with a look at your interior, to see if it’s time to spruce things up a bit.
When You Should Get New Seat Covers
Seat covers provide you with a way to really take ownership over your vehicle’s appearance. Not only do they set a mood by drastically changing the look of the vehicle from the inside, most of them are also highly visible accent pieces to people outside the car. That’s why you should get new ones whenever they show signs of wear like stains, holes, or threadbare sections. Loose threads at the seams are another good indicator.
So how long should you wait between replacements? Usually it’s two to three years, but it depends on your habits. If you play rough and put miles on the car while adventuring or even living out of it on trips, you’ll need them sooner. Performance seat covers tend to last longer because of their advanced design, so keep that in mind if you are a high activity driver.
Importance of Having Spare Touch Up Paint On Hand
Winter can take its toll on a car’s paint job, but it’s not an ideal time to make touch-ups in many areas of the country. Between precipitation, changing temperatures, and even cold snaps that make paint behave differently as it dries, it’s often easier to do it in spring. Once the weather warms up, though, it’s easy to touch up small dings and damage spots on the fly if you keep touch up paint for cars in your emergency road kit. By maintaining your vehicle’s appearance all summer, you make sure you hit winter with a car that looks great before running the gauntlet of ice, snow, salt, and slush once more.