Burnaby, British Columbia – The British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) is offering a spring car care checklist to help motorists with cleaning and maintenance for the upcoming season.
Clean the interior: Pull up all the floor mats and give the floors and seats a good vacuuming to remove grit and salt. Check for dampness on the carpets and give them time to dry out thoroughly. Use a cloth and vinyl cleaner to clean all plastic and vinyl surfaces.
Do a walk around: Make sure all lights are working. Take a closer look at the windshield wipers for any deterioration. If you drive on salted roads, spray the underbody and below the bumpers to rinse away any buildup that may lead to erosion and rusting.
Inspect the windshield: If it has fallen victim to flying rocks and gravel, don’t delay in getting it repaired. A small rock chip or “star” can be repaired if caught early, but may expand into a full crack requiring windshield replacement if left too long.
Top up the fluids: Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on fluid change intervals and how to check them. The correct mix of antifreeze will help prevent the engine from overheating in summer.
Inspect the drive belts: Look for any wear and tear, such as cracks or frayed edges. The belts should be tight, with no more than one or two centimetres of “give.” More than that, and they may need to be replaced. Check the hoses to the radiator and heater to be sure they are firm, but not too hard, and not spongy, cracked or bulged.
Examine the battery: Remove any accumulated corrosion on the terminals with a wire brush, and clean the cable ends with a solution of water and baking soda. Wipe the top of the battery with a dry cloth. Always work in a ventilated area and if you disconnect the battery, hook up the positive cable first to avoid sparks.
Check your tires: If you have winter tires, switch back to summer or all-season tires, unless you’re planning to travel in areas that still may have snow. Running on winter tires longer than necessary will wear them prematurely. If you are using all-season tires, have them rotated every 10,000 to 15,000 km to equalize wear. Ensure all tires (including the spare) are inflated to the recommended pressure.
Have a checkup: Take your car to a service facility and have a technician check the suspension, steering linkages, brakes, battery level and charge, and ensure that the air conditioning system is working to optimal efficiency for the coming summer.