Australian winter isn’t as harsh as in other corners of the planet. And while you most likely won’t see snow and ice unless you tackle Mount Buller or other Aussie’s peaks, heavy rains and high winds often mean there’s more debris and mud on the roads. These five maintenance tasks can put you back on the track and ready for spring.
Give it a good wash
It doesn’t matter where you live; winter driving is likely to get the underbody of your car caked with either salt, sand, mud or other corrosive dirt. If unattended, corrosion can lead to rust problems, weakening the hull of your car and making it harder to resell. Although it’ll cost you a bit more than a regular car wash, it’s worth it. Use a power wash at the local car wash or your own garden hose. Raise your car with a jack for better access. You don’t need soap for washing the underside. Remove all the leaves and the debris under the bonnet and wipe down the engine with a soft mitt and soapy water.
Scrub the insides
Wipe and scrub the bottom of the doors. This is a spot that is often missed, but can have a lot of grime from the winter driving. Clean the window channels and lube them with silicone spray. It repels the dirt and water from sticking to the surfaces and the grooves, so the windows can operate smoothly. Use a steam cleaner – you can rent one for cheap or a vacuum cleaner and a rug cleaning spray to remove the winter debris from the inside. Sand and dirt can damage the fabric as the feet grind against them.
Touch up the paint
A trip to the body shop can turn expensive. On the other hand you can always buy small bottles of automotive paint and lacquer and fill in small scrapes and scratches yourself. It won’t be a professional job, however, it’ll prevent rust and further damage from spreading. Still, if there are bigger dings and dents, you may be entailed to visit a body shop. But remember, keeping your car in top cosmetic condition costs money. When it comes to reselling, a buyer will pay the asking price only if the car looks great and pampered.
Inspect the tyres
Colder weather can cause tyres to be underinflated and as the warmer days arrive they can overinflate. Inspect the tyres visually as well, to make sure they are wearing evenly and there’s a plenty of thread for the rainy spring weather. And if it comes to replacing, these guys selling tyres in Blacktown know their job. Since the store isn’t tied up with any tyre manufacturer or wholesaler, they have the freedom of recommending the best tyre for your vehicle and budget. Some garages will recommend a wheel alignment or a tyre rotation as a part of your spring overhaul.
Check the oil
Although modern vehicles don’t need oil changes so frequently as they did in the past, it doesn’t mean they can run on the same fill forever. The turn of the seasons is a good time to check if your engine oil is up to the mark. Running low on oil can indicate to a number of problems with the engine, so you need to take the car to a garage or an authorized service centre for your make. Some olds school drivers actually automatically change oil at the shifts of the seasons – once at the end of winter and on the eve of autumn.
As the winter draws to an end approaches, it’s good to give your car a thorough check and prepare it for the spring. While a visit to a garage can get your car inspected, tyres rotated and fluids replenished, these all are the things you can do yourself, as well.