Did you know that April is National Car Care Month? I didn’t either, but it’s not too late to give your ride a little TLC! Following are seven easy things you can do to keep your car in good shape heading into the summer!

My trusty steed from my youth!
  • Living in New England and in close proximity to the beach, it’s important to remember that salt and grime can eat away at your car. So grab those buckets and make sure you give your car a bath at least once a month.
  • Now that winter is over, it might time to give your vehicle a fresh oil change. If your car runs out of oil you run the very real and very expensive risk of having your engine seize.
  • Check your car’s “kicks”. Your car’s tires need to be checked now that the weather is warming as well. Check that your tire’s tread is in good shape, look for any cracks or uneven wear. You may want to consider having your tires rotated as well, this helps to improve their longevity and evens out wear. Proper tire pressure is another important way to help improve the life of your tires and increase your car’s efficiency.
  • STOP! Did you know that you should have your brakes checked and tested every 25,000 miles? After a long winter now is a great time to have your trusted mechanic check your brakes.
  • Can you see at night? Car headlights are a vital piece of safety equipment and having a blown bulb is usually very easy to replace on your own. Have someone help you check the headlights, rear/brake lights and your blinkers for functionality. If any are out, you can zip to your local auto store to pick up the bulbs and replace them yourself.
  • Clean air is important for your car’s health. Another easy DIY for your vehicle is to check the cleanliness of the air filter. The air filter acts as your car’s lung and a dirty filter will negatively affect the performance of your engine. Your car’s owner’s manual will be able to show you where the filter lives and how to replace it easily.
  • Check your fluid levels. Antifreeze, brake fluid, steering fluid all are essential components to the safety of your car. Now is a great time to check the levels and top off as needed. Again, that trusty car manual will show you how to check these fluids, as well as recommend what type of fluids to use.
  • “Wiper” right for clear vision. After a harsh winter of snow, sleet, ice and road grime your wipers are probably in need of retirement. Again this another easy DIY maintenance item AND many car part stores will happily install the new blades for you free of charge (I know because I have them install mine twice a year)!

A little bit of preventative maintenance now will give you miles of smiles through the summer!

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