It’s that exciting time of year when you get to dust off your classic and enjoy the fruits of your labor in the warm weather that spring brings. Just like spring cleaning your house, you’ll want to do annual maintenance, service, and prevention checks to make sure your investment is functioning in tip-top shape. Find out how to prep your car for spring, including the top three most important checks you can’t afford to overlook.
Spring Prep Car Checklist
We’re obviously partial to brakes here at MPB, and we want you to do a thorough investigation of your brake system to address anything that’s not functioning at full efficiency.
Once the car is running, press the brake pedal and compare that feel to what it was when the car was parked for winter. If there is a noticeable change, start searching a little deeper at some of the other items mentioned in the checklist.
Brake Fluid (!)
This is one of our top three most important items on your spring car checklist. It’s easy to overlook brake fluid; while you may check the fluid, it’s likely you won’t replace it. Brake fluid absorbs water over time and can cause rusting on the inside of your vehicle. It’s best to change your brake fluid as part of your spring car checklist, and we recommend Pentosin Super Dot 4.
Wheel Cylinders, Calipers and Master Cylinder (!)
This is the second of our three most important parts to check on your vehicle. The seals within the Wheel Cylinders, Calipers and the Master Cylinder seals can become dry and stuck in vehicles that you haven’t driven in a while. The parts should all move free and easily to prevent leaks and poor brake performance. This is usually very obvious as the result is a leak and a puddle of brake fluid.
Once you complete your entire vehicle spring checklist, test drive the vehicle and inspect the components again to make sure no leaks are present.
You must check the vacuum hose in cars with a vacuum brake booster. It’s important to make sure your existing hose hasn’t dry-rotted or cracked, which can easily happen because of its exposure to high temperatures inside the vehicle. If replacement is necessary, using the right hose will give you proper performance.
Whether your setup is disc/drum or all-disc, your wheels are turning on bearings of some kind. If worn, replace them as necessary. If wear seems minimal, remove them for cleaning and repack with a quality wheel-bearing grease.
Emergency Brake Cables (!)
The final item on our top three most important areas to check is your e-brake cables. Moving pieces inside the cables can become seized, so make sure that they are free and unrestricted. Additionally, check the parking brake component within the wheel caliper or brake drum.
Especially during the colder, drier months of the year, rubber blades on wipers can crack and dry out, making them less effective. Replace them each spring.
Fluid Quality and Levels
In addition to your brake fluid, be sure to check, replace, or top off your remaining fluids, including engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, and windshield wiper fluid.
Tire Wear and Pressure
Check the tread and wear on your tires and rotate or realign them if necessary. Be sure the pressure is still within an ideal range, since cold weather often causes tire pressure to drop.
Don’t forget your headlights, taillights, and turn signals to make sure your vehicle is safe to drive and easy to spot.
Do a check to make sure your battery life is still at full strength.
Give the body and undercarriage of your car a good wash. Then, start it up and let it run for a while.
Make Sure Your Car is Ready to Roll This Spring
Preparing your car for spring is essential if you store it for winter. Even in warmer climates where you drive your vehicle year-round, spring is a great time to perform the necessary annual checks that keep your car safe and performing at its peak.
Seals and rubber components on the wheels and within the brake system can dry out or crack. Fluids can become damaged or run low. Batteries can lose juice, and tires can lose pressure.
Use our spring car checklist to make sure you don’t overlook anything that might cause improper wear or damage to your car.