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Is Spring Car Maintenance Even A Thing?

Spring cleaning may be associated with your car’s spruce up in Spring, but a yearly Spring Maintenance Check is also rooted in the practical. In countries where users encounter large amounts of snow, sleet, ice, and frigid Winter conditions, cars go through a lot! Spring checks in these conditions are really important. South Africa’s weather is somewhat less volatile, but your car can still go through a lot in Winter.

Spring Car Maintenance is a thing, even in South Africa. If you love your car or simply want it to last longer, Spring is the perfect time to do a thorough check on your car and find any areas in need of some TLC. Besides for any rough weather your car may have faced, South African Summer is coming, and it’s best to be ready before it hits.

Summer can be equally rough on your car, depending on where exactly you live. Things like hail, humidity, and Summer rainstorms can affect parts of your vehicle. We suggest keeping the two below checklists handy for your Spring and Autumn car checks.

Things to Check on Your Car in Spring

Check Your Car’s Air Conditioner

You want the aircon in tip top shape when the Summer heat hits. The easiest way to check your A/C is to switch on your car, then put on the air conditioner and test it in every setting. Is it going as cold as it should and is the fan strong on each setting? If you think something’s not right with your car’s air cooling system, ask your mechanic to check your air conditioner.

✅ Check Your Car’s Battery

If you do not have a battery tester at home, you will need to get your battery tested at your local garage. Nowadays car batteries can last up to six years, but low temperatures and other conditions under which the battery is used can affect it. Use the breaking of Spring as an excuse to ensure your battery is still operating well.

Check Your Car’s Brakes and Chassis

Dry Winters and August winds can often mean stray dust and particles clogging up your brakes. The chassis also tends to gather grit, and the abrasion that comes with this added layer can wear your brakes. Eventually it can cause abrasion or rust on your car’s bodywork. If you Winter in a coastal area, salt, humidity, and rust play a bigger role. Have your brakes and chassis checked at a local service centre as part of your car service.

Check Your Car’s Emergency Kit

While you’re checking the car, might as well check your emergency kit. If you live in an area where extra gear is needed in the Winter, now is the time to unpack that from your car and make sure the emergency kit is in order. Make sure you’ve got:

  • Warning Triangles
  • A Tyre Repair Kit
  • A Tow Rope
  • Water
  • A Flashlight
  • Jumper Cables
  • A Basic First Aid Kit

Check Your Car’s Fault Log

Many modern cars today use digital technology in the running of the vehicle. This has resulted in mechanics being able to assess the inner workings of our vehicle digitally. Although all faults should show up on your dashboard with a red light, it’s advisable to request a fault log check when you take your car in for a service.

✅ Check Your Car License Expiry Date

Keep it legal when you’re on the roads. Along with checking everything else in the car, check that your license is still valid and not due to be renewed. You can begin the renewal process as much as two months before it expires.

Check Your Car’s Oil & Other Operating Fluids

Check your engine oil, brake fluid, and coolant levels. Your dashboard should light up when one of these fluids need to be replaced but checking before the time comes is advised. In fact, your car’s oil should be regularly replaced because it picks up grim and dirt. Its job is to protect your engine, but when it becomes too dirty, it can no longer do so. To keep your engine in good shape, schedule an oil change in Spring.

Check Your Car’s Steering and Suspension 

Yes, Winter can affect your steering and suspension. How? The freeze and thaw cycles along with potholes and rough roads can impact your alignment and steering. To see whether your vehicle needs further attention here, assess whether the steering wheel pulls to one side or if the steering feels rough.

✅ Check Your Car’s Tyres 

Regular tyre checks are a must, and after a cold Winter you’ll want to make sure your car is ready for Summer’s wild and refreshing rain. Check the tread depth on multiple points on each tyre, including the spare, and if necessary order replacements. Remember that by law tread must be at least 1mm all around the tyre. It’s not just about what’s legal; it’s about what is safe. The extra grip will give you more security, especially when it rains and the roads get slippery.

Check Your Car’s Wiper Blades and Fluid

Your wipers have gotten some Winter sun and dry weather, or if you are in a coastal area they have been exposed to salty, cold, and humid air. Either way, the rubber may have worn more than you think. Test your wipers to make sure they clear your windscreen adequately so that you are prepared for Summer.

Spring Clean Your Car

You’ve done all the rest, might as well give your car a good clean so you can enjoy the vitality of the Summer holidays in a fresh ride.

Things to Check on Your Car in Autumn

Check Your Car’s Air Conditioner & De-Fog Setting 

You checked it in Summer, but as Winter approaches, make sure your AC can warm you up as well as it has been cooling you down. Your De-Fog window setting on the air conditioner will be useful in Winter when you can get frost on your windscreens. Do not pour hot water over the ice that can gather on your windows, as there is a risk that this will crack the glass.

Check Your Car’s Battery

As above, Summer can impact your battery health, so it is a great idea to check it seasonally.

Check Your Car’s Brakes and Chassis

Your brakes and chassis need a check, and this time it’s the rain, mud, and summer heat that can affect it.

Check Your Car’s Emergency Kit

You can never check your emergency kit too much, but at least twice a year is a great idea.

Check Your Car’s Fault Log

As above, whenever you take the car in for a service request a fault log check.

Check Your Car’s Lights

In Winter the days are shorter and the nights are longer. Autumn is the ideal time to ensure your lights are in good working order. You may need to replace bulbs, but checking your lights is quick and easy and can keep you safer in the Winter.

Check Your Car’s Oil & Other Operating Fluids

Similar to your seasonal check in the Spring, except focus on your antifreeze to ensure your car is safe from Winter frost and cold.

Check Your Car’s Tyres and Wheel Alignment

As above. Remember to check the spare too.

Repair Dents & Scratches

Summer hail and rainstorms can cause scratches and dents in your car thanks to hail, debris, or rough winds. Rust can also start to develop in areas where humidity is high in the Summer. A good body check and repair is in order before the Winter arrives.

Is your car ready for the season? Make sure it is legal and that you’re covered for any unexpected challenges. Visit insurance.co.za and get a vehicle insurance quote today. Just click HERE.

 

Sources: Drivemag; hazyviewherald; wheels24;

 

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