Spring Car Care & Maintenance Tips

Why do seasonal maintenance before winter is off the calendar? The colder months are tougher on vehicles. There is enough salt, sand, residual snow and ice that could threaten the structural integral of the car - frame and body included. Plus, the road conditions worsen over the winter months with potholes and deepened cracks. These road imperfections threaten the life of suspension and wheel components. Deeper into the car, fluids - including gasoline and oil - will react to colder air temperatures by gelling up. That alone will hurt engine endurance and the life of your fluid lines.

Use this spring maintenance checklist to ensure your Volvo is reliable and running efficiently:

1. Check battery, spark plugs and wires

"cold cranking" causes extra wear and tear on electric and ignition components. The battery is the front line of these systems. Make sure the battery fluid levels are good and the terminals are clean. Then, check the spark plugs for excessive use and the wires for damage - including exposure to ice. If there is damage, have these replaces, if they cannot be cleaned. 

2. Check belts and hoses

These key components are also exposed to the cold. Have them checked for cracks or other exposure damage. If need be, have them replaced. 

3. Check tire pressure

Icy and cold road surfaces will cause lower air pressure. The first thing to do is to have the tire pressure set to factory standards - air up or down to meet correct PSIs. This may also include inspection of the tire pressure monitoring system to make sure it is reading the right air pressure from each tire. 

4. Check brakes

In the winter, the brakes get a lot of use. Simply get a thorough brake check that includes lines, the master cylinder, rotors and pads. If all is well, a pad change would be the only thing you would need. That way, the car will have healthy brakes when the seasons change. 

5. Check wheel alignment and suspension

Because of deteriorating road conditions, a thorough inspection of the suspension could expose loose connections or damage. Any loose parts can be tightened up. Damage may require a component replacement. If all is well with the suspension, make sure to have a wheel alignment and tire balance done. That way, the car is corrected for better handling and ride after another tough winter. 

6. Check fluid levels and condition of the fluids

This is make sure that all fluids are at safe levels. If need be, have them topped off. This would also include inspection of fluid consistency and of the windshield wiper nozzles to be unblocked. Engine oil may have been changed for a winter weight. An oil change should be made to get back to a normal weight for the season.

7. Check cabin air filter

Cold air can bring a lot of stuff into the air cleaner unit. The filter will catch of this and could get clogged after a tough winter. This can be done during an oil change to ensure proper breathing of the engine. 

8. Check windshield wipers

Sometimes in snow or frost, the wipers are used to clear snow and ice. This causes extreme wear on the blades and on the wiper arms. An inspection of the arms and motors should be done. Make sure to get the blades changed in time for any rain coming through the area.

9. Do a thorough cleaning of the car

Considering the snow, ice, salt and sand that the car attracted through the winter, a good deep cleaning - even a full detail - of the car will help remove any residual from it. A clean or detail should also include protection underneath, on the body and throughout the interior. A clean car means better drivability for any season. 

Volvo Cars Richmond

7211 W. Broad St
Directions Richmond, VA 23294

  • Sales: (804) 755-6666
  • Service: (804) 755-6669
  • Parts: 8046722341
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