Get Your Car Ready For The Sunny Days Of Spring With These Smart Maintenance Tips!
March 9, 2023
Warm weather will soon be upon us, and that means it’s time to give your vehicle some TLC after a tough Alberta winter. From deep-cleansing the exterior to performing inspections on key components – a little effort now will help keep your vehicle running smoothly.
This all starts with preventative maintenance that helps to avoid costly, inconvenient vehicle troubles. Regular oil changes and inspections help ensure that your vehicle’s key parts are functioning properly for optimal performance, longevity and safety – so you can keep driving stress free.
As the weather warms up, below are some tips for you to use to ensure your vehicle is running properly.
Wash and rinse
We all know that Alberta winters are harsh. Throughout the winter months your vehicle is constantly bombarded with sand, slush and snow. The first item you can do is wash the vehicle, you can do this at home – weather permitting. Alternatively, you can take your vehicle to a DYI wash or use a touchless wash at a gas station. During the winter it is recommended that you wash your vehicle once every couple of weeks to ensure dirt, road de-icing chemicals, salt, grime and road debris doesn’t sit too long on your vehicle. These items can cause pre-mature damage to your undercarriage and the body of your vehicle.
First, hose down the exterior, spraying underneath the car and into the wheel wells, getting as much dirt and salt off as you can. If you’re washing your vehicle at home be sure you’re using car washing soap. Under no circumstances should you be using other kinds of soap. Other kinds of soap such as dish soap, can damage the clear coat on your vehicle’s paint. The clear coat is what gives your vehicle its shine as well as protecting the paint. When you wash your vehicle’s exterior it is best to wash from the top down using a soft wash mitt. Dry the car thoroughly, and then apply automotive wax with a soft cloth to protect the finish.
Once you’re done with the exterior, it is time for the interior. Grime, sand, and slush make their way inside your vehicle throughout winter. If left unattended these items can leave unsightly stains on your vehicles interior carpet. The floor mats can easily be cleaned by removing them, and hosing them down and leaving them outside to dry.
Wipe down the seats, steering wheel and dashboard with a damp rag, and clean the insides of your windows, too.
If you don’t have time or space to wash your vehicle, let Sherwood Park Toyota do the work! We offer various Toyota Touch Detailing Packages for you to choose from, book your detailing appointment today.
Inspect wiper blades
Windshield wiper blades work nonstop during snowy, slushy, icy months. Since you spend 99% of the time looking out your front windshield it’s important that your wiper blades work well.
If you notice that the wipers are leaving streaks and not properly providing you a clear windshield it is time to change them out. Another, tell tale sign is if the rubber on the wiper blade is damaged or cracked.
Once the wiper blades are inspected or changed don’t forget to top up the wiper fluid and to check the sprayers. If you have a rear wiper, don’t forget to check it as well.
If you’re unsure how to change or check your wiper blades, book an appointment today with our Service Department. You can purchase OEM Toyota wiper blades and fluid from our Parts Department, call 780-900-5926 for availability.
While the vehicle is cool, open up your hood and check the engine oil, brake fluid, transmission, power steering and engine coolant levels. You can find instructions in your owner’s manual.
Be sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for when to change the above fluids.
While you’re checking the fluid levels, look around the engine compartment to determine whether your belts and hoses are dry or cracked if you notice any damage, it time to get them changed.
If you’re unsure how to check the fluid levels or don’t know which belts or hoses you should be looking for, book an appointment today with our Service Department. You can purchase OEM Toyota fluids from our Parts Department, call 780-900-5926 for availability
Fresh air is the best air
A dirty engine air filter can reduce your engine’s efficiency. A clogged engine air filter makes it difficult for air to get into the combustion chamber. In turn, your engine has to work harder to bring in air resulting in poor fuel mileage.
When changing the engine air filter, be sure to change your cabin air filter. A cabin air filter helps to keep the air clean inside your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for the location of the engine and cabin air filter, which types to purchase and how to change them.
If you unsure of how to change the engine or cabin air filter, book an appointment with our service department today and have us do the work. You can purchase OEM Toyota engine and cabin air filters from our Parts Department, call 780-900-5926 for availability.
Swap out winter tires and check your summer or all season tires
Winter tires don’t perform well as the weather warms up, in fact winter tires can wear out faster if driven in warm to hot temperatures. It is best to have your winter tires changed once the weather is consistently warmer than 7oC.
As you’re installing your summer or all-season tires, be sure to check for cracks along the side wall and examine the tread pattern to ensure there is tread left on tires.
Once your summer or all-season tires are installed be sure to check the tire pressure. Having proper pressure in your tires helps to prevent abnormal wear and provides you with optimal fuel efficiency. Unsure what pressure is right for your tires? There is a decal in the opening of the driver’s side door that shows the recommended tire pressure. To check the tire pressure, you’ll need a tire pressure gauge. If you need to add air to your tires, you can do it at your local gas station or you can purchase a portable air compressor.
Last but not least be sure to check out your spare tire. If it has not been used through the winter months it may need some air to ensure it is inflated properly. A spare tire may require a different tire pressure than the tires installed on your vehicle. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine what is the proper pressure for your spare tire.
If you are unsure of how to change your tires or how to determine if they are worn out or not, please book an appointment with our service department and we’ll help you ensure your tires are safe for the road.
In conclusion, proper preventative maintenance on your vehicle is essential to ensure an enjoyable and safe driving experience. By regularly checking your oil levels, inspecting the tires, wipers and air filters you’ll help to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. If you are ever unsure of how to perform any of these tasks, please book an appointment with our service department. If you’re doing your own preventative maintenance, be sure to always use OEM Toyota parts. Call our parts department at 780-900-5926 for any OEM Toyota parts your Toyota may need.
A well-maintained vehicle also helps you avoid costly repairs down the road and provides you with years of worry-free driving.