Photo by Paul Volkmer
Originally Posted On: AAMCO Blog | Your Bucket List for Springtime Vehicle Maintenance
The best way to keep a vehicle safely running is through routine preventative maintenance. As the season transitions from winter into spring, here are a few tips to help ease your vehicles into the warmer weather months:
Your Vehicle’s Health: 7 Spring Items to Check
1. Factory Maintenance Requirements
Check for required Factory Maintenance in your Owner’s Manual. AAMCO’s professional Technicians will perform those services for you.
2. Tires and Air Pressure
Check your tires for wear, damage, and correct air pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires in good condition are safer, especially on wet and slick roads, and will last longer.
Have your battery, cables, and engine drive belts inspected.
Tip: If your battery is over five years old, consider replacing it before it gives you problems.
4. Engine Oil, Fluids, & Filters
Spring is a good time for an engine oil and filter change. Fuel mileage can be affected negatively by using an improper grade of oil. Check your manufacturer’s recommendation for when to change other fluids, too: auto manufacturers often recommend a radiator coolant change every two years or 24,000 miles, and a transmission fluid change is generally recommended every 45,000 to 80,000 miles depending on your driving behaviors. Even with synthetic “lifetime” marketed fluids, if you use your vehicle in hot or cold climates, hilly or stop and go traffic, tow or carry heavy loads, or you plan on keeping your vehicle for mileage more than 100,000 miles, you will want to change your fluid and change it more often in order to keep it clean and fresh.
Check your front and rear brake pads, rotors, sensors, and the related hydraulic brake parts for wear or damage and to prepare your car for safe summer driving.
6. Air Conditioning
It may be time for that air conditioning tune-up. Have your A/C system checked before the summer season so you’re not stuck in the summer heat. The cabin air filter is also a critical filter to change regularly. It protects you and passengers from harmful dust, pollen, and other airborne dirt and debris that can affect the cabin’s air quality.
7. Engine Tune-Up
According to the U.S Department of Energy, a vehicle that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can affect gas mileage by an average of 4%. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%*.
…And a Few Extras
In addition to these critical maintenance and safety tips, here are a few other items to check to make your spring rides better:
- Wiper Blades
Don’t wait for the old blades to scratch the windshield or that first spring thunderstorm to discover your blades are streaking or smearing the windshield.
- Lights and Lamps
Have all your vehicle’s lights and lamps checked to ensure safe driving, especially in the rain and at night.
- A Good Spring Cleaning
Winter is tough on a car, especially if you live in an area that copious amounts of salt on the road. Removing those corrosive salts and debris protects your paint from damage and your undercarriage from rust.
We’re Here to Help!
Trust the experts at AAMCO to care for everything in, on, and under your car.
You’ve trusted the expert technicians at AAMCO for over 50 years to service the most complicated system in your car, the transmission, so you know you can trust us for all your car care needs — from oil changes to tune-ups to services that will keep your car in warranty and everything in, on or under your vehicle. Go to www.aamco.com to find your neighborhood AAMCO dealer.