Finally, spring has sprung! The weather is warmer and our winter coats are back in the closet. Just like how we change our activities and wardrobes, our cars need some TLC for the warmer months too. Here are some basic tips and tricks on how to “springtomize” your car.
In the winter months, you may have swapped out your washer fluid for a “winter wash” style of fluid. While that fluid is great for breaking down ice on your windshield, the formula isn’t intended for the warmer months. Consider switching to a regular washer fluid or a hot-weather-specific blend.
Your wipers put in overtime in cold months, helping remove ice and similar winter debris. Always check your wipers for tears or cuts and, if needed, replace.
A sun shade isn’t so much a requirement as it is an accessory, but it’s useful nonetheless. Sun shades are big, tin foil looking covers that go under your windshield when you’re not driving. This is especially useful on cars painted dark colors, because it helps prevent your car from being ridiculously hot when parked outside.
Your A/C system has been sitting dormant now for a few months. Your coolant may be low/dirty and other systems used to cool your car may be running a little weak. It’s best to have your car serviced now in the spring so that when the hottest of the summer months roll around, you’re A/C is at peak performance.
Depending on how severe the weather was during the winter, your tires may have worn a bit quicker than expected. Check to make sure there aren’t any holes/leaks/bumps or uneven wear.
Similar to the sun shade, window tint works to keep some of the sunlight out of your car. This not only makes the windows darker but also helps it keep cool (and in some cases, provide UV protection.) Just remember that in North Carolina, 35% tint is the lowest you legally can go.
There is no bad reason to wash your car’s underbody, but in areas like Mint Hill where salt was spread to prevent snow and black ice buildup, it is incredibly important. Salt left on the underbody of a car can cause the frame to rust, which is an extreme safety hazard, and lowers the overall value of your vehicle.
Now that the warmer months are here to stay, be sure to consider the tips above, and most importantly, have a safe and happy spring!
Did you know it rains about 70 days a year in Charlotte? That’s almost 20% of the year! With that much rain, you’re likely to have to drive around in the rain every now and again. Driving in rain, however, is not like driving on a sunny day. Is your car prepared to face a rainy day? Here are some important factors to think about before driving in the rain:
Tire Tread Depth is important on any day, but it plays an even more important role when the roads are wet. The gaps between your tire and the road that your tire tread creates is what prevents you from losing control and hydroplaning. This is why most states consider tires that are below 2/32″ in tread depth illegal.
This one may seem a bit obvious, but Windshield Wipers are one of those things that you really don’t think about unless you try and use them. Wipers usually should be replaced every six months, but that can vary by quality and usage. If you’d like to read more about Windshield Wipers, we have an article about them here.
In North Carolina, it is law to turn on your Headlights when your Windshield Wipers are in use. This law is in place not so much so you can see in the rain, but so others can see you. If you have headlight/taillight/daytime runner out, you may be harder to see and possibly more likely to be hit. If you’d like to read more about Headlights, we have an article about them here.
When driving in the rain, you should allow for more following distance (this is the distance between you and the car in front of you) and slow down. This allows you more time to stop should something in front of you happen. A lot of your vehicles automation devices – cruise control for example – may not work as well during the rain.
No matter if it is rainy, sunny, sleeting or snowing, be sure to enjoy the ride and stay safe!