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Springtime Car Maintenance Tips

carsMany of those taking advantage of Houston mobile windshield repair this spring for winter auto glass damage should also use this time to ensure that the rest of their car is in tip-top shape. Doing so is especially important because of the hot humid summer weather Houston experiences every year. Here is a short list of springtime auto maintenance tips.

Air Filters

A dirty filter really hampers the ability of clean air to flow into the engine and help it run at its peak performance level. Regularly replacing them will also help your engine last longer.

Battery

The last thing you want is to be stranded by the side of the road during a hot Houston day because your battery died. You should use this time to ensure that it has plenty of power, fluid levels are topped off and that there are no corroded terminals. A swollen case or a rotten egg smell emanating from the battery is also a cause for concern.

Belts and Hoses

Springtime is also a good time to check your belts and hoses as broken belts can cause major engine damage and cracked hoses can burst and cause the engine to overheat. Note that cooling system hoses may actually look fine on the outside while being badly deteriorated on the inside.

Brakes

This is one of the most used parts of the car, and the brake pads actually disintegrate just a little bit every time you press the brake pedal. The brake pedals themselves should also be looked it as they have the potential to become soft and sticky and not respond as quickly as they should during hot humid summers. Also make sure to check the drums, rotors and brake linings at this time.

Lights

Every light in your vehicle should be inspected and tested at this time as well. These include exterior lights such as brake lights, turn signals and headlights as well as interior lighting such as those on the dashboard.

Oil

When oil levels are low or the oil is dirty, the engine can be badly damaged or even ruined in a worse-case scenario. Gears will grind, and the engine will seize up if there is little or no oil to allow internal parts to smoothly glide against each other. Now is also a good time to consider getting your oil filter changed. Especially if it has not been changed for 3,000 or more miles.

Shocks and Struts

Shocks and struts are essential to enjoying a smooth steady ride around Houston, and now is a great time to see if yours need to be replaced. Worn suspension parts can also cause your tires, joints and springs to wear at a much quicker rate than would otherwise be the case.

Tires

Since tire quality deteriorates much more quickly during Houston summers than other times of the year, it is important to ensure that they have an appropriate amount of tread. The best way to do this is to have the entire surface of every tire, including the spare, checked. Many will simply place a penny into the tire tread and see if Abraham Lincoln’s head disappears into it when rotated. If his head remains completely visible, the tire needs to be replaced as your car may hydroplane when traveling at high speeds during a rainstorm because there is not enough tread.

Wiper Blades

Many getting their Houston windshields replaced also should get new wiper blades. However, wiper blades should be replaced at least every six months, so you should not wait until you get a Houston windshield replacement if you need new blades now. Of course, torn, cracked or chattering blades should also be replaced immediately.

 

Springtime auto maintenance is critical for a safe and uneventful summer of local and vacation driving. Being proactive about auto maintenance helps avoid unpleasant surprises.

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