Spring car maintenance: what all drivers need to do with the onset of the thaw
The onset of spring is a period when you need to pay a little attention to your four-wheeled friend. We will find out what all drivers need to do with the onset of the thaw.
Защита от коррозии
Spring car maintenance begins with a thorough inspection of the body. Aggressive means of dealing with ice, sand with salt, in which stones often come across, flying all over the body of the car cause quite a lot of damage to the vehicle that is invisible at first glance.
First of all, with the onset of spring, an iron horse will need a comprehensive wash with professional equipment, so it’s better to go to a car wash than wash a car from a bucket. Particular attention should be paid to the bottom, sills, wheel arches. After mandatory drying, it is necessary to treat all paint chips, which often result from careless cleaning in winter, and renew the protective layer of the car's paintwork with special tools. If this is not done, then rust will quickly “climb” from the spring humidity. In the presence of large chips, it is better to immediately repair a full repair of the paintwork.
In addition to external protection, it is recommended to pay attention and treat the hidden cavities and the bottom of the machine with a special anti-corrosion compound. Many technical centers offer this kind of service.
It should be remembered that the use of compounds of unknown origin for anti-corrosion treatment can only exacerbate rust problems on car body elements and damage the plastic and rubber parts of the seals. Therefore, it is advisable to carry out these procedures in official service centers.
With the advent of warm weather, it is necessary to thoroughly (and, if necessary, repeatedly) wash the body, interior and other parts of the four-wheeled friend. Inspection of a clean and dried vehicle will help identify obvious problems and decide on further actions. The absence of visible damage to the paintwork indicates that it is enough to treat it with a protective compound or special material, which are chosen mainly based on financial capabilities. LKP protection is necessary in any case, even if it is a used Zhiguli.
As we have already mentioned, reagents scattered by public utilities in winter can significantly damage the car. And not only outside, but also inside. For this reason, a thorough wet cleaning of the interior as part of the spring car maintenance is a must.
Rugs are vacuumed - this can be both professional equipment and a home model, but a 12-volt "cleaner" will not do a good job with this task!
It should also be noted that in winter, melt water actively accumulates underfoot, so there is a high probability of its leakage under the carpet. Of course, few people like to take dirty carpets out of the cabin, but it's still better to do it (by lifting the carpets at least partially). With traces of leaks, the floor is freed and cleaned by any improvised means. At the end, the bottom of the machine is thoroughly dried from the inside with a household fan heater, a technical hair dryer, or, at worst, with the help of natural ventilation. Without this, it is impossible, because of moisture without air circulation, the metal will very quickly become unusable. The carpets themselves are also thoroughly washed and dried.
With the onset of spring, it is obligatory to check the condition of the spikes and the rubber tread, and then change the winter wheels to summer ones. This is done if the average daily temperature does not fall below 8 - 10 degrees Celsius during the week, no less. A driver who is too lazy to change tires in time runs the risk of getting an increased stopping distance of the car in case of an emergency due to a decrease in tire adhesion to the road surface. In addition, winter tires wear out faster in warm weather, as they are softer and more abraded on clean asphalt.
If the car owner does not use studded tires, but prefers Velcro, it is enough to check the tread height and damage on the tires. Worn-out "shoes" of the car can collapse at any moment and threaten with an emergency situation on the track. Fresh tires that are suitable for the season contribute to savings, while using them reduces fuel consumption.
The transition to summer wheels is accompanied by an inspection of the car's suspension at the wheel alignment stand. Adjusting the angles of the wheels, depending on the design, provides for a different number of characteristics. Without diving deep into theory, it should be borne in mind that the road is ruthless to "crooked" mounted wheels. In winter, slippery ice or snow “forgives” the skew, but the hard coating “eats” the tread in almost a week.
If there is no confidence in the accuracy of such a setting, or the suspension has been subjected to strong shocks, the steering wheel is skewed, the car pulls to the side, you should not wait for the next maintenance - a faulty suspension requires the immediate intervention of specialists!
Fuel system diagnostics
After the winter season, all operating fluids should be checked (level, transparency, period of use), and the radiators of the cooling and ventilation systems should be thoroughly rinsed. You should make sure that nothing is leaking anywhere, no dirt has got inside the lines.
You may need to change the oil, while changing the oil filter. The level and expiration date of technical fluids in cars must be at the recommended level. When choosing oil for a car, first of all, you should pay attention to the recommendations of the car manufacturer. The priority is to use one brand without mixing with oils from other companies.
Expensive repairs instead of enjoying a spring trip is hardly worth the not so big amount spent on quality oil!
Replacement of accessories
And finally, with the onset of spring heat, it is worth removing everything that was used in winter from the vehicle until the next season. Things that will be needed in warm weather, we advise you to carefully distribute in the cabin and trunk.
If you look, the spring maintenance of the machine does not take so much time. Losing one or two days off will save you a lot of nerves, hours and days later.