As winter is slowly turning into spring, you are probably breathing a sigh of relief – your car has been through the worst of it, right? True, but you may be missing one key point: the effects of cold and snow that your car has suffered over the course of the cold season may cause a ton of issues. Spring checkup and maintenance is pretty much unavoidable; and, if you still think that taking your car to a mechanic every spring means being overly cautious, here are some reasons in favor of a spring checkup that might change your mind.
1. Engine Belts and Hoses
Low temperatures may cause damage to your belts and hoses, which may further cause engine overheating, losing power and a variety of other problems. These issues aren’t too difficult to solve, but are easy to overlook. A simple check under the hood for cracks and peeling, or softening on belts and hoses respectively, is an indication that your car needs maintenance.
2. Potholes and Suspension Damage
Depending on your geographical location, the quality of the roads may vary, but one thing is certain – potholes are becoming a huge problem. Regardless of how much investment the government puts into road repairs, even the least apparent of potholes may severely damage your suspension. These issues, unfortunately, cannot be spotted by looking at the bottom side of your car and the best way to see if repairs are in order is to briefly take your hands off the wheel while driving, to see if your vehicle drives straight ahead or not.
3. Oxygen Sensor Problems
Unlike engine belts, hoses and suspension, you may not even be aware that the oxygen sensor is an actual thing. However, this component is extremely important for gas mileage. In fact, whenever the “check engine” dashboard light goes on, chances are that your car is suffering from the oxygen sensor malfunction. Seeing as how it is very much involved in setting the fuel mix going into your engine, a broken oxygen sensor is capable of reducing a vehicle’s gas mileage by up to 40%, according to CarMD. Replacing this sensor might not be cheap, but it can help you avoid heftier repair bills further down the road.
Winter may cause damage, which results in squeals, thunks and other weird noises that might occur once you hit the brakes. These are the reason enough to pull over and give your breaks a check. You should always have your trusted roadside insurance services on speed dial, so that you know who to contact as soon as you start experiencing the mentioned issues, this is definitely the smart way to go.
Depending on where you keep your car during the winter, your tires may or may not wear out evenly; if the latter is the case, this can turn out to be quite a safety threat, in addition to hurting your gas mileage. This is yet another reason to take your car for a spring checkup; car mechanics will know exactly how inflated your tires should be kept.
Batteries have a tendency of failing during rapid temperature changes. To make things worse, you probably don’t own the equipment that’s necessary for measuring your battery strength at home. The majority of auto shops, however, can easily tell you if your battery needs replacement, so this should also be on your spring checkup list.
These 6 reasons are more than enough to plan your trip to the mechanic’s as the spring is approaching. As soon as you see a warm day in your weather forecast app, start planning on giving your car a spring checkup.