Weather is a funny thing these days. Seems like winter either comes in full force, with feet upon feet of snow, or not at all. Not knowing what this season would hold, you did the responsible thing and took the steps to winterize your car, but then this winter was nearly tropical. Now what? Here are some ways to de-winterize your car and get ready for spring.
Just like it’s important to make small changes and preparations for inhospitably cold weather, your car also has specific needs for warmer seasons. Many adjustments and additions made to your vehicle for winter prioritize safety in cold and icy conditions. However, these same features may wear out faster, cost extra or are downright counterproductive during the spring. Therefore, it’s important to do a springtime reset on your vehicle.
Spinning Your Wheels
The first thing that comes to mind is tires. Folks dealing with icy roads are advised to change their tires in the winter for treads that provide better traction. However, if you aren’t driving on snow, these treads wear quickly and aren’t a wise investment. Snow tires also reduce fuel efficiency, so swapping them back out for a set of all-weather tires come spring will save you at the pump.
If you got a good wash and winter wax to protect your paint and discourage rust, good for you! However, the high salt content of the snow and water constantly kicking back up at your undercarriage will eventually make its way straight through, despite your best efforts to keep it out. In general, it’s a good idea to get a thorough wash after any big snowstorm, but it’s especially important to get one in as the weather changes. This prevents salt from sitting on your vehicle for months.
A Clear View
Even mild winters can wreak havoc on your wiper blades. All it takes is dragging them over small pieces of ice a few times, and they will wear unevenly. Once this happens, they become far less efficient in the rain and can obscure vision. When the last snow has melted, change your wiper blades.
Winter Emergency Kit
Each season has its own unique obstacles. If you had the foresight to equip yourself with a winter emergency kit (and you really should), change it back out for your regular warm weather combo. Aside from meeting the specific needs of the season, it’s probably less heavy, and you’ll up your fuel-efficiency game by downsizing your load.
Regardless of the season, weather has a substantial impact on your vehicle. It’s important to stay on top of what the conditions could be in the winter, because you never want to be caught unprepared if the worst should happen. Just don’t forget to make the necessary changes to bring your car up to speed for summer.
Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 16,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to de-winterize your car, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Blair Lampe is a New York-based professional mechanic, blogger, theater technician, and speechwriter. In her downtime she enjoys backpacking wherever her boots will carry her, rock climbing, experimental theatre, a crisp rosé , and showering love on her 2001 Sierra truck.