Top 5 routine vehicle maintenance tips
Take your car from winter to spring
It’s no secret that winter weather in Wisconsin takes a toll on automobiles. WCTC automotive instructor Steve Angove provides five vehicle maintenance tips for taking your car from the winter driving season into spring.
1. Check your wiper blades
The rainy season is upon us and your wiper blades are probably in need of replacement due to the abuse they took from all the ice and road grime of winter driving. It’s cheap maintenance to keep your vision clear while driving.
2. Check your tires for proper inflation and tread depth
It’s normal for tires to lose air over winter because oxygen molecules seep through the rubber – especially when tires are cold. An alternative to oxygen to fill your tires is Nitrogen. It is not affected by heat and cold as much as oxygen is plus it has larger molecules that help the pressure stay more stable.
Always use the manufacturer recommended tire inflation psi (pounds per square inch) which is located on the sticker in the driver’s door jam. Proper inflation pressures help with fuel mileage.
Tires should be rotated every 7,500 miles – brake pads, rotors and brake shoes should be checked when rotating tires.
3. Check/change fluids
Follow your vehicles owner’s manual for proper oil and coolant change intervals. Conventional motor oil should be changed every 3,000 miles while synthetic oil can vary from every 5,000 to 15,000 miles depending on the manufacturer. Always run the proper type and viscosity of oil by using what is recommended in the owner’s manual.
Transmission and differential fluids should be changed every 30,000 miles.
The proper type of antifreeze/coolants should be changed according to your owner’s manual.
4. Check your air filter
Your engine needs to breathe – do it a favor and replace the air filter every 15,000 to 20,000 miles.
There is a passenger/cabin air filter on most cars – usually located behind the glove box in the duct work – which filters the outside air that comes inside. It should be replaced every couple of years.
5. Test your battery
If your battery is more than three years old, it should be tested twice a year. Most repair shops and auto parts stores will check it for free. Batteries can last anywhere from three to ten years. Heat affects batteries so it’s a good idea to check it in the spring and fall.