5 Spring Car Care Tips
Winter is Hard on Vehicles; Make them Last
You put a lot of money into your vehicle. Whether you’re driving a brand new Cadillac, or a 10 year old Honda, your vehicle is a significant investment. Every few months it’s important to clean it up, tune it up, and make sure that it’s running properly. The changing of the seasons is a great time to do those things.
Here at Big Sky Collision Center we know that a maintained vehicle is a safe vehicle. After a long hard winter, take some time to make sure your rig is ready for the days to come. Here are 5 spring car care tips to ensure safe driving through the summer.
Wash and Wax
Billings doesn’t use salt on the roads like they do in many other parts of the country. So we don’t see the corrosion that the vehicles of the Midwest often see. But there is a small amount of salt in the sand used (it prevents the sand from clumping). Combine that with the dirt and grime from the road, and your vehicle is filthy!
About the middle of April we should be past the majority of our snowy days. Break out the wash bucket, and spend a sunny afternoon washing and waxing your vehicle. The wash will remove salt and grime, the wax will prevent dirt and buildup for the next month or two.
Vacuum and Wipe
In the middle of winter it’s rare to find anyone that wants to get out there and clean the junk from their car; especially if you don’t have garage space. So the dirt accumulates, the wrappers pile up, and the crumbs embed themselves into the seats. While you’re spending the afternoon cleaning your vehicle’s exterior, get the inside done too.
You can use a shop vacuum at home, or hit up a local carwash with a vacuuming station. Get all the dirt and debris out so that the inside is comfortable to sit in. While you’re cleaning use a little glass cleaner to make sure the windows are easy to see through, and some protectant on the dashboard and other smooth surfaces. Not only will the vehicle feel better, it will be safer too.
Rotate, Balance, Refill
One of the gas laws states that as temperature decreases, volume decreases. That means if you fill your tires with air when it’s warm out, and then winter sets in, the amount of air inside them decreases. If you have a modern vehicle with a TPMS, you probably topped them off when the low tire indicator light went on.
Now that the weather is warming, your tires may be overfilled. Now is a great time to take the vehicle in to have the tires rotated and balanced, and then the proper air pressure put into them. Going back to the dealer or where you bought the tires means that you can probably get this done free of charge. Properly filled tires will mean better gas mileage, better handling, and a longer lasting vehicle.
Change the Oil
Experts recommend that you have the oil changed in your vehicle every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. For some this is a hard and fast rule; for others it’s somewhere around those mileage indicators. If you’re more of the “close enough” type, you should make sure to change the oil in October and in April.
Twice a year may be plenty, it all depends on how much your drive your vehicle. Just make sure that you’re not going way over the mileage recommendation. An oil change may run you $50-$75; replacing a seized engine will be at least 20 times that amount.
Swap the Wipers
Throughout the winter we run our wipers a whole lot more than in the summer. From pushing the excess snow off, to clearing the frost that has melted, to squirting fluid and cleaning off the dirt that splashes up as the snow melts, our wipers go through a lot! Just imagine how hard it would be to see if you didn’t have them?
After scraping them over a frozen windshield all winter, your wipers are probably a bit torn up. Sure they may last through the summer, but why risk it? Replacing them costs about $10-$15 per wiper, and your safety is worth a whole lot more than that.
Bring Your Accidents to Big Sky Collision Center
Until May, we’re very likely to see some more snow in Billings. In fact, as of this writing (on April 3rd) we just got 7 inches. That means slick roads and accidents. Naturally these spring car care tips should wait a few more weeks, when the weather has turned nice again. In the meantime, if you’ve been in an accident, bring your vehicle to the best auto body shop in Billings. Our goal is to ensure that you have a vehicle that is repaired the right way, so you can be safe on the road.
By the way… did you know we do auto detailing? If you don’t have the time, or the desire, to wash, wax, vacuum, and scrub your vehicle, give us a call at 406-259-6328 to schedule a time to bring it in and let us do the work for you.