With the arrival of spring, we – motorists often do not think about the fact that the car will now be easier to start, and the wear and tear of the engine and box will be reduced. And we also don’t think about the fact that sometimes it’s easier to go to a company that picks up junk cars in etobicoke.
Along with the cold weather, the worries about the fact that tomorrow the car may refuse to start, that valiant wipers will bury a car up to the bumper, cleaning snow off the entrance to the house, and that before you feel comfortable in your own car, you should creep a while with cold, not risking to touch the steering wheel with bare hands frozen during the night, evaporate.
There is an opinion among motorists, that if the car has honestly driven all winter, started well, warmed up interior and took out snowdrifts, the car is in an ideal technical condition and with the beginning of heat it is not even necessary to think about its preparation for summer.
It would be appropriate to make an analogy with footwear here. Imagine winter boots, in which a person has walked all winter.
Boots, which several times a day suffered temperature changes in the range from -20 on the street to +25 degrees indoors, which, despite the shoe creams and daily “shower” were covered with white streaks from the salts dissolved in the snow mush. The soles of boots were being eaten away by de-icing agents like termites on a tree on a daily basis.
Spring is the time when the car became one winter older, the engine was filled up “the piggy bank of its experience” with the next portion of extreme morning starts, the interior absorbed several liters of dirty melting snow, and tires lost their spikes in unequal combat with ice, snow and potholes, and now joyfully touch dry asphalt with their bristling body. And who will say after that, that the car is in good order? Certainly, if a car is not bought for one season, it needs to be prepared both for winter and summer.
For someone this preparation is reduced to a minimum, and someone approaches this question much more seriously, spending much more time and means.
Do you think your car rusts the most in winter? You’re wrong. Corrosion peaks in the spring. In the winter, with the salt and slush and the abrasive sand, ice and frozen snow scraping the “belly,” there’s a time bomb under your car. It has warmed up – scratches of your car, clogged with salt and dirt, will blossom with red color.
Therefore the first spring car treatment is water. Car body should be thoroughly washed, and not only from above and below, but also in the trunk and interior. If there is a suspicion that there is water accumulated under the carpets over the winter, it is necessary to take them out.
It is important not only to remove dirt and rinse salt, but also to dry your car. After washing, it would be nice to drive with a heater turned on for a couple of days, directing a stream of air into legs.
As it dries out, it is worth to count the losses incurred during the winter. All chips, cracks and scratches of paintwork and car protection coatings should be treated and fixed in one way or another. Auto-chemical preparations for minor car body repair are in abundance today. If it is not profitable to paint over some scratches, it is acceptable to touch up “anticorrosion”. There is a direct sense in their help: it will be not too expensive and good for your car.
It will not hurt your car body to apply polish: it will both protect the paint and amuse the eye. After assessing the condition of the enamel, decide what kind of compound to use. If there are superficial scratches, cloudiness and buried dust, you can pre-treat the old paint restorer. It restores, however, not the paint, but its gloss. As a rule, such remedies remove the paint, though very thinly.
Did you refresh your car? Protect the result of your labor with a special composition, be it silicone, teflon or carnauba wax. The choice of product depends on your diligence and financial possibilities.
Thoroughly treat, paint coating can also help professionals. Do you think this is the end of the epic? Not at all.
The battery also needs some attention in the spring. In winter it has been subjected to severe operating conditions: heavy starting, heavy load from the headlights and heater. In order to ensure that the battery lasts long and reliably, you should check its charge.
If necessary, charge it to the maximum from a special device. In older designs it may be necessary to check the electrolyte level and refill with distilled water. You should not neglect these simple procedures. In warm weather the engine is easy to start and from the battery discharged by 75%, but the service life in this state of the power source is much shorter.
ENGINE AND ELECTRICS
Many believe that with the onset of warmth it is necessary to change the plugs. If in frosts the car started properly, it means that the plugs are in good order and do not need to be replaced. But it does not hurt to check their condition.
The situation with oil is also disputable. Modern synthetic and semi-synthetic oils do not lose the properties both at strongly negative temperatures, and in heat. Therefore, if the oil in a motor is filled with high-quality oil and the change term has not come yet, it is better not to do this procedure.
By the way, experts assert, that it is better to change the oil not by the mileage, but by time: at least twice a year.
With the coming of heat a careful visual inspection of the engine is obligatory. The matter is that 115 degree temperature changes (from -20 in the morning hours up to +95 in working mode) lead to wear of elastic elements of the engine. Plastic and rubber parts lose their properties: rubber dries and cracks, plastic bursts.
All this leads to loss of tightness, and as a consequence, technical fluids (oil, ash or antifreeze) can leak. A serviceable engine should be dry and clean, and if you find oily leaks, contact an auto service center immediately. The leak must be repaired, otherwise it is fraught with engine failure and expensive repairs.
One of the controversial issues is engine washing. Experience shows that except for aesthetic pleasure, washing the engine does not give anything. Moreover, for cars “in age”, washing procedures can be dangerous, since the wiring is no longer young, and the electrical contacts are oxidized.
There are cases when the cars after engine wash took more than one hour to wake up. The main problem is to find in kilometers of wiring and in dozens of sensors and relays the only loose contact, which is the reason of engine’s malfunction. It is better to wipe all electrical nodes, high-voltage wires, sensors and relays, which are within reach, with a dry rag.
Regardless of the seasons and operating conditions, it is necessary to check the level of all liquids regularly (at least once a month): engine oil, gearbox oil, steering rack oil, brake fluid, antifreeze or heating-water. If you find any deficiency, add fluid, preferably of the same brand and color, with the same characteristics as before.
When checking the liquids pay attention to color and consistency. So, for example, if the cooling system was filled with blue, and during checking it turned out that brown fluid is sloshing in the engine, it is necessary to change coolant completely, having previously washed the system with special additives.
In winter, domestic fuel is even more contaminated than in summer. It would be right to flush the car’s fuel tank and entire fuel line every spring, but since this procedure is time-consuming and expensive, you should at least change the fuel filter.
When preparing your car for the spring and summer season diagnosis of the running gear should be mandatory. It is not bad after the terrible condition of winter roads to check the steering rods, silent blocks, suspension joints and joints, if necessary, replace them.
A difference in temperature, driving on ice, snow and puddles all at the same time leads to the fact that the dusters on the suspension units break, due to which the unit loses grease and quickly fails. To avoid costly repairs associated with replacing the unit, you must check all the dusters and replace the damaged ones.
The same situation occurs with brake hoses. If a damaged brake hose is not replaced in time, it can cause a tragedy.
Often drivers undeservedly scold the tires for the fact that they “trot”, poorly “hold” the road, and become the cause of poor controllability of the car. Sometimes these symptoms are not a sign of poor quality tires, but of the fact that the “camber” adjustments are broken.
It is not uncommon for adjustments to be thrown off due to hard contact between the wheels and road obstacles, but there are times when suspension adjustments need to be made due to the characteristics of the tires that have been put on. When everything falls into place, it will turn out that the claims about the tires were in vain.
Air conditioners installed in cars also require seasonal maintenance. Typically, it consists of replacing filters, charging and adjusting the air conditioner. If you do not want to stay in the heat without cooling, it is better to spend some time on these procedures as well.
The more attentively we treat our car, the longer it serves us and qualitatively fulfills its functions.
Probably the list of necessary procedures to prepare the car for the spring-summer season at first sight seems too long, but on the other hand, confidence and safety are much more expensive.
All the above-stated information concerns, first of all, the active motorists who do not fall into “winter hibernation”.
If the car has not been operated in winter…
The preparation of the car can start with the battery.
The spring problems of such cars’ owners have mainly not technical but psychological character.
Re-conditioning of the car, if preservation was carried out, is simple enough and entirely depends on imagination and skills of a “conservator”. And the fact, that the car, driven by the person, who has not been sitting behind the wheel for half a year, is a threat to other participants of movement is an immutable fact.
Ability to react adequately to non-standard situations is completely restored in two weeks. Therefore, the most reasonable thing for the “snowbirds” is to drive avoiding the places with heavy traffic for the first time.
If the destiny has driven you on a busy highway, keep right, as much as possible, and remember: the safest speed is a speed of a stream. A “detachment from the group” is equally dangerous in either direction.