Prepare Your Car for Spring

As cold fronts and snow storms continue to visit the midwest, warmer temperatures are right around the corner. Now is the ideal time to start prepping your vehicle for a long and happy spring season. There are many mechanical and general cleaning tasks that you can carry out to make you feel like you are back in a brand-new vehicle again.

Should I Test My Battery?

Now that you have roughed through a long hard winter, it is time to check the pulse of your vehicle. Although heat kills batteries faster, the cold weather can strain the electrolyte reactions that charge batteries. The result is that your battery is considerably weaker in the winter. This can damage cells when you leave your lights on accidentally or other mistakes and leave you with an unreliable battery.

Test the battery by setting your multimeter to DC and probing the terminals. You should get a reading over 12v when it is off and a number that fluctuates up to 13.XXXX volts at idle. Make sure that you rev the engine to activate the alternator before you test terminals at idle. The alternator usually switches on to recharge the battery at about 30,000 RPMs.

Total Vehicle Inspection Can Help Prevent Problems

GMC Floor Mats

Now is the perfect time to see what kind of damage or oxidation was incurred during the salt season. Exposure to road salt and sitting in water for long periods of time can wreak havoc on any vehicle, especially exhaust parts. Get a good look at the undercarriage by investing in some car jacks and a quality floor jack that is appropriately rated for the tonnage of your vehicle.

You can use a sealant, sometimes called a waterless car wash, to protect undercarriage exhaust parts from rust and also spray on asphalt or rubberized undercoatings to protect the chassis. Sanding down rusted chassis parts and spraying them with a rust-inhibiting spray paint may be your only other alternative at this point if rust is found.

If you ran all-season tires during the winter, be sure to check the tread on them. It is easy to mess up your alignment during the winter when you hit ice. And a misalignment can quickly run your tires bald. You should also check your air filter to see if it got waterlogged or damaged over the long hard winter season in Nebraska.

Spring Oil Changes Help Freshen Up Your Engine

If you ran a 5w 40 in the winter, you will probably want to switch over to a higher viscosity motor oil at this time of year. A thicker motor oil will provide a greater layer of protection at startup and during heavy duty cycles. Using the correct weight recommended by your manufacturer for each season will save your engine from premature wear. Running a motor oil that is too thick during the winter will lead to dry starts that likewise damage engine components. When you consider that most of the wear on an engine is incurred by dry starts, it makes sense to always use the correct weight of motor oil such as 15w 40 in the spring and summer seasons.

These are just a few suggestions of pitfalls that can be avoided when you do a little spring cleaning. If you want full automotive detailing and inspections by professional mechanics to ensure the long-term value of your vehicle, please visit your friends at Husker GMC for the quality care that you deserve.

Categories: Tips, Service