After a wet and windy winter, the worst of the driving conditions might soon be behind you, but your vehicle still needs plenty of tender loving care. Now spring is in the air, this is an excellent time to carry out a full inspection and do some essential car maintenance work to nip any minor problems in the bud before they become more serious.
This is our simple car maintenance checklist to keep your car running safely and smoothly this spring:
1. Give your car a good spring clean
The wintery conditions are not the most inviting when your car needs a good clean, so it makes sense to do it as early as you can in the spring. The interior of your car may have been damp and dirty for most of the winter thanks to wet clothes and muddy shoes, while the outside will have been attacked by salt, grime and soggy leaves.
The first job is to pressure wash or hose down the underside of the car to remove the debris while paying particular attention to the wheel arches. The underside of doors and sills are also areas where soggy vegetation and mud can gather, so make sure you give them a good clean. This is also a great time to apply some polish to the paintwork.
When cleaning the interior of the car, check for any wet patches on floor mats and carpets, as that could mean rainwater has been getting in. You should also give the mats and carpets a good vacuum and clean smeary windscreens inside and out.
2. Check your wipers
Spring is the perfect time to check the blades on your windscreen wipers. They’ll have been working overtime during the winter months, so it’s important to make sure they’re still in good condition. If your blades are…
- Streaking – Leaving streaks across the windscreen
- Squeaking – Making a squeaking noise as they pass over the windscreen
- Splitting – Have visible splits and cracks in the rubber edge
- Skipping – Are not in contact with the windscreen
…then they need to be replaced. And don’t forget to check the back wipers, too.
3. Take a look under the bonnet
The cold, wet and wintery conditions can put a lot of extra pressure on your car, so it makes sense to look under the bonnet to make sure everything’s still intact. Check belts and hoses to make sure they’re not heavily worn, brittle, cracked or leaking and replace your cooler if it’s old. You may be comfortable making these checks yourself, but if not, at the Citroen Car Centre, we’ll happily do it for you.
4. Inspect your tyres
Winter causes tyres to lose pressure more quickly than other seasons, so make sure your tyre pressures are at the levels recommended by the manufacturer. You should also check that your tyres have made it through the winter months unscathed. Look for signs of excessive wear, cuts or damage and check that the tread depth is sufficient.
The minimum legal tyre depth in the UK is 1.6mm. A simple way to test that is to insert a 20p coin into the grooves of the tyre. If you can’t see the outer band on the coin, your tyres are above the legal limit. However, just because they’re legal, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safe. At 50mph in wet weather, a car with 1.6mm tread depth takes two more car lengths to stop than a car with 3mm of tread. So, if you’re close to the limit, it’s time to get them changed.
Read more about tyre safety and maintenance.
5. Pay attention to your battery
Car batteries can deteriorate quickly in cold temperatures, so make sure yours is working well. If your battery is more than four years old or it takes an extra second or two for your car to start, your battery could be on the way out. We test and replace batteries to give you complete peace of mind.
6. Get your wheels aligned
Potholes pose a big problem in the winter months and can easily knock your wheels out of alignment as well as doing serious damage to your car. If your wheels aren’t aligned, your vehicle will not only handle poorly but it will also impact on your fuel economy and tyre wear. Having your wheels realigned professionally will be far cheaper than having to change your tyres prematurely.
Book an appointment at the Citroen Car Centre
At the Citroen Car Centre, we can check and replace your tyres and carry out minor and major car repairs to get your car ready for spring. Get in touch to book a quality service in Hampshire and Surrey at an affordable price today.