Don't underestimate what spring weather can throw at you and your vehicle. First sign of spring: robin or pothole? Either way, while you're probably glad to leave the thrills of winter driving behind, it's important not to overlook the fact that spring brings serious driving challenges of its own. Check out the tips below to get you and your vehicle in top spring-driving form.
Watch Out on Wet Roads: Spring's rain creates slippery conditions – just as bad as winter's ice and snow – where hydroplaning and skidding are hazards. Slow down on wet roads.
Check Your Tire Treads: The risk of hydroplaning or skidding on wet roads can be greater if your tire treads are worn. If you're changing your winter tires back to all season tires, make sure you check your tire treads for wear with a tread depth gauge. Many new tires also have a tread wear indicator – a rubber bar across the tread of the tire – that lets you see the level of wear on your treads. The minimum standard for Nova Scotia is 2mm. For safe driving, replace worn tires.
Rotate Your Tires: It's important to rotate your tires at regular intervals in order to maintain even tread wear and prolong the life of your tires (which will also save you money!). Talk to your service consultant about inspecting for tread wear and scheduling tire rotations.
Fill Your Tires: Keep your tires properly inflated to protect your tire and wheel from damage when you hit potholes. Check for the proper psi on the label on the inside of the driver side doorframe. Check out this video for more details.
Get New Wiper Blades: Rain cuts down on visibility. You'll have a clearer view if you replace your wiper blades this spring -blades worn from clearing winter snow and ice can leave a filmy smear on your windshield that is hard to see through and that reflects glare from oncoming headlights at night.
Balance your Wheels: Potholes and aggressive off-road driving can lead to suspension misalignment and to wheels that are out of balance. They're not the same thing, but both affect your vehicle’s ride and handling. If your suspension is out of alignment, you may notice steering problems, such as a pull to one side. Misalignment also causes uneven or increased tire wear. If you're feeling steering wheel jiggle or vibration at highway speeds, your wheels may be out of balance. Wheel balance improves traction, while both alignment and balance maximize your tire life and improve steering control.
Wash Away Winter Salt: Winter's gone, but the salt build-up on your vehicle isn't. Get rid of it! Wash and spray underneath, using a high-powered hose if you've got one, with special attention to the build-up that's on your axles, wheels, and exhaust pipe – anywhere corrosion can cause damage.
Clear the Air: Cleaning out a winter's worth of take-out coffee cups and junk gets rid of the obvious "gunk" inside your vehicle. What you can't see are allergens, bacteria, mould and other microscopic elements that can make you sick. Vacuum thoroughly and clean hard surfaces with a rag and disinfectant. If there's a replaceable cabin air filter in your vehicle, change it.
Pull Over When the Sky Falls: Severe spring rain – and even hail – storms can come out of nowhere. Water quickly accumulates on the road surface and, even with your blades on top speed, visibility can be nil. So pull over and put on your 4-way flashers. It's safer to wait it out.
Help is a click away: Last but, not least, when it comes to getting your vehicle ready for spring, you're not alone. Your dealer’s Technicians are specifically trained to service your vehicle using only factory-approved parts and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. It’s always a good idea to see your dealer for a pre-summer springtime check-up. Your dealer can help you with spring-related maintenance by:
- Inspecting your engine air cleaner filter or change indicator (if equipped)
- Rotating tires and checking inflation pressures and wear (and providing all major name brands of tire if replacements are necessary)
- Inspecting suspension and steering components
- Inspecting wiper blades (and offer a wide variety of replacement blades)
- Checking engine coolant and windshield washer fluid levels and add fluid as needed
- Inspecting your brakes
- Performing an oil and filter change
- Inspecting your air conditioning system…and more!
Click here for our current spring maintenance offers.
O’Regan’s on Robie is your Halifax GM headquarters supplying service and support for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles. Visit us at www.oregansonrobie.com, or drop in to visit the showroom.