Is there anything more greatly anticipated than the return of Spring in West Michigan?! After a particularly grueling winter this year, with snowstorm after polar vortex after snowstorm, the first sightings of a robin returning to the greater Grand Rapids area feels like a reprieve with the promise of warmer days on the horizon. But with the change in weather comes a change in what your vehicle needs to give you its best performance and now is the perfect time to get your vehicle Spring ready…
Give It A Wash
Winter in Michigan is hard on the body of your vehicle… the snow, the slush, the grime but mostly the salt put down on the roads to help melt snow or ice and improve traction for vehicles on the road. But that repeated exposure to road salt can do a terrible thing to your vehicle’s body and undercarriage. The result can be rusted or corroded exhaust systems, brake systems and muffler. Rust occurs when oxygen and moisture combine on metal but salt can accelerate that process. Taking the time to get regular car washes can help prevent this from happening but washing your vehicle once the weather has cleared is important to make sure all of the salt is washed off of your entire vehicle.
Swap Out Your Tires
If there’s one thing Michiganders know it’s that the weather in Grand Rapids is a fickle thing. Too often, we put away our snow and ice scrapers only to have the swift and fierce hand of Mother Nature swat us for our eager mistake. So it’s no wonder why people question when and if they should swap out their winter tires for summer tires? The quick answer is yes, you definitely should change your tires as the temperatures grow warmer and here’s why. Snow tires are designed to perform at their best when temperatures are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below while summer tires work best at temps between 50-100 degrees Fahrenheit. So as temps begin to consistently climb higher during the day, it’s time to think about swapping out your winter tires for summer or all terrain.
And while you’re paying attention to those tires, take the time to check their condition. Check your tire’s air pressure to make sure they are inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications. Doing so can improve gas mileage and prevent tire failure while you’re driving. In addition to tire pressure, you’ll want to inspect the overall condition of all four tires for uneven wear and tread depth. Worn tires can negatively impact your braking distance and will certainly affect your tires ability to maintain traction on the roadway. Before heading out on your trip, make sure your tread depth is not below 4/32. An easy way to make sure you have the recommended amount of tread is with the quarter test. Flip a quarter upside down with Washington’s head facing you. If his head is partially covered by the tire, your tires still have adequate tread. If not, it’s time to replace them.
Get New Blades
April showers may bring May flowers but for your vehicle, they can make it extremely difficult to see. Rain showers and storms are frequent in Spring in the greater Grand Rapids and your windshield wipers have an important job to do while you’re out on the road. To make sure the harsh winter weather hasn’t taken its toll on your wiper blades before you encounter the inclement weather Spring has to dish out, start by looking for any wear on your blades including tears, rips or cracks on the rubber. Then test your wiper blades with washer fluid to see if there’s any streaking or pulling away from the windshield to make sure they will work properly when you need it most. Replace the windshield wiper blades if you notice any of these things to ensure your windshield stays clear from any kind of precipitation or debris.
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