In honor of our favorite time of year, we’d like to remind you to get your vehicle serviced and maintained. Even a quick tire rotation or cheap oil change this spring can make a boatload of difference, both in your car’s performance and your own sanity. Here are a few April car care tips and DIY tricks to keep you and your vehicle on track for spring.
10) Set Auto Service Reminders
A forgotten oil change here, a missed Honda maintenance appointment there, and you’re looking at some seriously costly repairs just to get up and running again.
Although our South Florida Honda service centers will help remind you of upcoming auto maintenance tasks, it’s important that you have your own system of checks and balances in place. Whether that system involves adding a recurring seasonal car tune-up task to your phone’s calendar or signing up for a free auto service reminder account, it should be followed accordingly.
9) Change Your Windshield Wipers
Prepare for South Florida’s summer rain by replacing your windshield wipers. New car wiper blades are cheap and easy to install. All you’ll need to know is the correct wiper blade size, which is determined by your vehicle’s make and model. Search online for the right set or speak with one of our auto service technicians in South Florida for assistance. We can order the wipers for you and even install them as we perform any other routine maintenance.
8) Check Your Tires
Don’t forget your tires – you know, those circular rubbery things that keep you on the road – as you go through your spring car care checklist. Be sure to perform the following tire maintenance tasks this April:
- Check your tread depth and replace any old tires that are worn down to less than 2/32”.
- Perform your seasonal tire rotation, which can be done at any of our South Florida Honda dealerships and service shops.
- Inspect the tires for any bald spots, bulges, or cracks along the side walls.
- Add more air to your tires, making sure to follow the PSI guidelines found inside your vehicle’s door jamb.
- Diagnose any TPMS warnings and reset the TPMS system when repairs are made (review your Honda manual for guidance on resetting the tire pressure monitoring system).
7) Test Your Battery
Car batteries have an average lifespan of anywhere from 3 to 7 years, depending on driving conditions and the battery brand, quality, and rating. If you’re approaching that anniversary, consider pulling out the old multimeter to check the battery terminals. A visit to your South Florida auto parts store or repair center will also suffice, as most will check your battery strength for free.
If your battery is on its last legs, or you notice any corrosion at the terminals, consider replacing it and any terminal cables. New auto batteries typically cost less than a couple hundred dollars. Ask your mechanic for advice on brands, if needed.
6) Inspect Your Lights & Blinkers
Did you know that bad brake lights cause up to 25% of the country’s car accidents? Without properly functioning brake lights on your vehicle, drivers following you have less time to react to abrupt stops or changes in speed.
Similarly, drivers who refuse to or are unable to use their turn signals are the No. 1 cause of road rage in America.
Checking your brake lights and blinkers is an easy DIY car care task. Simply reverse into the garage or against a wall at night. Initiate the brake pedal – do you see red lights on both the left and right side? Good. Then click the left and right turn signals on – do you see them blink? Good.
5) Get a Brake Inspection
At each oil change or Honda maintenance appointment, have your mechanic check your brake pads, rotors, and drums for signs of deterioration. Replacing bad brake pads will ensure your brake rotors last longer.
As a general rule of thumb, expect to replace brake pads every other year and brake rotors around the 70,000-mile mark. When in doubt, trust your gut or refer to your vehicle’s manual.
4) Spruce Up the Interior
A quick detail of your car’s interior is simple to do yourself, and the results can be completely transformative. Vacuum and scrub the car mats. Steam-clean the upholstery. Dust off the dash. Windex that crud off the windows. Heck, install a new air freshener while you’re at it. By the time you’re through, your car will look, feel, and smell brand new.
3) Wash the Outside, Too
A good springtime suds-ing of any car will magically restore its natural glisten and remove any gunk left over from winter. We recommend washing and waxing your vehicle by hand for the best results, although a speedy run through an automatic carwash is better than nothing.
2) Change Your Oil
Do you know the carnage that’s unleashed on your car when it doesn’t have its regular oil change? (Hint: it includes sludge—lots and lots of sludge.)
You can perform a DIY oil change fairly easily with the correct tools; you’ll need a new filter, the correct type of engine oil, an oil filter wrench, a drain pan, gloves, and either car jacks or ramps. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and spending a few hours in the driveway, changing your car’s oil is a great option.
However, the cost of doing an oil change yourself is comparable to that of an oil change service center. Plus, when you get your oil changed by a mechanic or professional, they’ll be able to recycle the oil and alert you of any other noticeable issues.
1) Perform Routine Car Maintenance
Keeping your car running at peak performance takes commitment and a keen sense of everything automotive. That’s why it’s imperative to let a qualified mechanic or technician perform your auto maintenance tasks. Guarantee your vehicle gets the right amount of TLC by going to an auto service center that employs ASE-certified technicians, provides written estimates prior to any work being performed, and has good customer reviews.
Need more assistance in celebrating National Car Care Month? Review our detailed car maintenance checklist or give your nearest South Florida Honda service center a call.