Months of cold wintry weather have had a big impact on vehicles throughout the region, paving the way for breakdowns in the months ahead. With the harsh winter weather in the rear-view mirror and road-trip season ahead, AAA East Central advises motorists to give their vehicles a thorough check-up to help deter costly repairs down the road.
“Winter can lead to many issues that effect a vehicle’s performance, and a major issue AAA sees every year is rust damage caused by road salt,” says Mike Hoshaw, vice president of automotive services for AAA East Central. “Americans are paying millions a year in rust damage, and easy steps like having the undercarriage washed can go a long way to help prevent a costly repair.”
The AAA Spring Car Care Checklist:
Undercarriage blast — Give the entire vehicle, including the undercarriage, one last cleaning in the spring. Any deposits left over from winter can continue to cause corrosion year-round.
Tires — For optimum performance, tires must have adequate tread depth, show no signs of physical damage and be properly inflated. With more potholes on the road, properly tires can act as a cushion to protect your vehicle’s suspension components.
Windshield wiper blades — Cold temperatures are hard on rubber compounds, making early spring a good time to check or replace the blades if necessary.
Fluids — Check all fluids and top off as necessary. Winter driving conditions require your engine to work harder, and condensation can cause moisture to buildup in the engine that can create wear.
Air Filter — The air filter is an integral part of your engine’s performance, and AAA recommends motorists change them with every oil change.
Interior — This maintenance can include washing floor liners, vacuuming the carpets, and checking the cabin air filter.
Battery — During the summer months, the hot sun can break down internal components of this part. If a battery is more than three years old, it should be tested – especially before any long road trips.
Many items on the checklist can be done at home, but some are best left to the professionals. Motorists can take their vehicles to a certified technician like those who participate in AAA’s Approved Auto Repair (AAR) program. Garages that participate in the AAR program offer qualified technicians, a wide range of professional repair services, and guaranteed quality. These shops meet AAA’s strict quality standards and display AAA’s logo. AAR shops can be found at [AAA.com/AutoRepair]AAA.com/AutoRepair.
AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 80 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. News releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.