How to Help Your Car Recover from Winter
Your car has battled snow, ice, salt and potholes for months on end. Now that winter’s in the rear view mirror, certain aspects of your car need a little more TLC than others. Check out our list for preparing your car for spring, and view our other checklists for helping your home recover from winter.
Spring Car Maintenance Checklist
- Swap your snow tires for all-seasons. If you kept your all-season tires on all winter, you’ll want to have them rotated. That’s because the drive wheels get worn down faster in all conditions, but especially in harsh winter conditions. By having them regularly rotated (about every 5,000 to 7,500 miles although your vehicle owner’s manual will tell you what is recommended for your car), they will more evenly distribute the wear-and-tear and extend the life of your tires. But if you’re in the market for new tires, see our ultimate tire buying guide.
- Check your tire pressure. Cold air lowers tire pressure, which reduces the traction your tires have with the road. The tire pressure may have improved automatically when the weather warmed up, but it’s still best to check. (If one tire is particularly low, it could mean there’s a puncture or leak.)
- Clean or replace windshield wipers. Your wiper blades were probably working overtime removing snow and slush off your windshield. That, along with the fact that cold temperatures wear down blades, means you’ll want to inspect them in the spring. Clean the rubber insert with a lint free rag and window cleaner and replace them if they look worn, squeak or don’t completely clear water off your windshield. Wipers survive winter, but not your windshield? Talk to Whitbeck Insurance Agency about your car insurance policy coverage details and ERIE’s glass claims service.
- Wash and inspect your car. The salt used on winter roads can corrode your car, which can cause rust to form. This is especially true when it comes to the car’s underbody. Get things under control by taking your car to a car wash that has high-pressure regular and under-sprays. It will clear off the salt, which will let you inspect your car for any small pits and bubbles that could be the start of a rust spot.
- Get your vehicle’s underside pre-treated. Definitely take your car to a shop if you notice the beginnings of a rust spot. Before next winter, you might also want to stop back to have your car pre-treated with an oil solution under-spray that will help resist winter road salt damage.
- Give your brakes a listen. Breaks work harder in the winter. If they make any strange noises, take your car to a pro ASAP. You might also consider having your brake pads and drums checked, especially if your car is on the higher end of the mileage spectrum. It’s easy to become used to the feel of worn brakes.
- Check your car’s fluid levels. You tend to use more in the winter so have a pro check your brakes, oil, windshield, coolant, battery and transmission fluid levels. While you’re there, ask them to test your battery’s charge since extremely cold temperatures can take a toll on batteries. (Some auto supply stores will test your battery for free – call ones in your area to find out if they offer complimentary service.)
- Replace your engine air filter. A clean engine air filter helps the engine take in fresh, clean air. If it’s clogged, the engine has to work harder. That can lower your fuel economy, so make sure to replace your engine air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.
- Detail the inside of your car. Now is the time to wash the salty floor liners, vacuum and clean out any trash that’s accumulated. You might also consider applying a protective dressing to the interior vinyl to give it a barrier against the sunshine-filled days ahead. Read more tips for detailing your car yourself.
- Check your vehicles alignment. Potholes can knock your car out of alignment. If your car pulls in one direction instead of maintaining a straight path, it could be out of alignment. Have a pro check its alignment if that’s the case. (Also check in with your state or city to see if they accept pothole claims for damage your car sustains on a state or city roadway.)
- Check in with your agent. Freshening up your car for spring is a great time to take a look at your auto insurance and make sure your coverage meets your needs. Talk with your local ERIE agent to make sure you’re covered no matter what season it is.
Protection for All Seasons
No matter the season, you want auto coverage that’ll go the miles with you. Contact a local Whitbeck Insurance agent to review your coverage or get a no-obligation quote.
ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Whitbeck Insurance Exchange, Whitbeck Insurance Company, Whitbeck Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Whitbeck Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York). The companies within the Whitbeck Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.
The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time.
Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions.
The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states. ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York. ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York. ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York.
Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.
Whitbeck Insurance Agency can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.