Ottawa, Ontario – Car Care Canada is reminding motorists that spring is the perfect time to make sure your vehicle is ready for the upcoming travel season.

No matter how far or how often you drive, Car Care Canada recommends checking the following before you go on your next trip:

Wiper blades – Replace every six months, or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering.

Tires – Check inflation, inspect the tread for uneven wear that could indicate the need for a wheel alignment, and look for bulges and bald spots.

Give your car a good wash from top to bottom – Use a product specifically made for automobiles. Clean the tires and wheels before washing the body, and don’t use the same wash mitt for both. Waxing not only protects the finish, but makes subsequent washing easier. Be sure there are no foreign particles on the paint before waxing.

Cover paint chips as quickly as possible – For a quick fix until you can get touch-up supplies, dab a little clear nail polish on the scratch.

Change your oil – A good rule of thumb is an oil change with every change of seasons. Changing the oil and filter every three months or 4,800 km ensures that your car operates at peak efficiency.

Get a tuneup if necessary – Modern cars should be inspected for battery, charging and starting, engine mechanical, powertrain control, onboard diagnostic checks, fuel, ignition, and emissions.

Check all fluids – This includes engine oil, power steering fluid, brake and transmission fluids, windshield washer solvent, and antifreeze/coolant, which should be refreshed every two years.

Check hoses and belts – A failed belt can affect the cooling system, electrical system, air conditioning and power steering. Cooling system hoses may deteriorate from within, so replace old hoses and clamps that appear to be in marginal condition.

Brake system – Check the entire system, including brake linings, rotors and drums.

Shocks and struts – Check for physical damage, such as leaking, rusting or dents, or for warning signs, including rolling or swaying on turns, front-end dives on braking, rear-end squats on acceleration, the vehicle not sitting level, loss of directional control during sudden stops, or bouncing or sliding on a winding, rough road.

Fluid puddles or stains – Several fluids can leak from the vehicle, including antifreeze/coolant, battery acid, brake fluid, clear water, diesel fuel, engine oil, gasoline, gear oil, power steering fluid, shock and strut fluid, transmission fluid and windshield washer fluid.

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