Car care and maintenance after winter operation
Outside, snow begins to melt, the air temperature is above zero – spring begins, and with it often there are problems with the operation of the vehicle. The reasons for this may be many, but, above all, this is due to the change of season and the driver, respectively, need to take care of the diagnosis and maintenance of your car before spring use. This will help improve operating comfort and, importantly, driving safety.
We protect the car from the cold
For those who decided to protect their vehicle from winter use and put it in the garage for the whole winter, it is worth considering that such a car also requires maintenance. Need to do:
- recharge the battery, if necessary, check the volume and density of the electrolyte;
- pressure check in tires, wheel bolt tightening;
- replacement of engine oil, if required;
- check of electrical equipment and external car lighting;
- inspection of all wires and cables for integrity;
- pouring detergent with non-freezing properties into the windshield washer reservoir, since sometimes there are still frosts at night.
For a more thorough diagnosis, you can visit the service station, where they will check the chassis, engine, and other components.
How to service a car after winter driving?
In this case, you must approach the service with great care. Car care after the winter involves:
- car wash;
- running diagnostics;
- general car inspection;
- suspension diagnostics;
- battery charging;
- replace, if necessary, the fuel filter;
- inspection of the engine, clutch;
- tire diagnostics;
- inspection of the cabin, body and paintwork;
- cleaning the trunk.
It is not necessary to go through all the stages for each car; it depends on the condition of the vehicle, the characteristics of its use. However, it is necessary to familiarize with each process therefore; we will consider each item in more detail.
When it gets warmer in the street, the driver needs to think about a thorough car wash, the most important elements include the wheel arches, the bottom, the engine compartment, but only those parts that can be cleaned, according to the instructions. It is necessary to carry out a sink, because a mixture of dirt and ice, which remains in closed places, may remain there for a very long time, causing the occurrence of corrosive processes. Therefore, the use of high-pressure car mini-washer, in some cases, is extremely necessary.
We diagnose the chassis and conduct a general inspection of the vehicle
The condition of our roads, as many know, is not very good, so be sure to check the chassis.
1. It is necessary to inspect the bottom for the presence of scratches and if they are, then they should be hidden using anti-rust mastic or paint.
2. Fuel and brake lines, silencer, rubber elements must be complete, without any damage.
3. Thresholds and bumper can also be damaged, especially if the driver often parked in the snowdrifts and, accordingly, traveled with them. Therefore, you need to restore the fasteners, so that later there was unpleasant situation on the road.
To carry out such manipulations simply and quickly, in addition, by this you can make the ride easier and safer.
Inspect the suspension
The geometry of the suspension for the period of winter operation may change, despite the conditions and style of driving. Therefore, the alignment of the camber and toe angles must be carried out necessarily, since this may in the future cause rapid wear of tires and improper operation of the steering wheel. In addition, the lack of balance of the suspension directly affects the increase in fuel consumption.
We recover the battery charge
The battery that was used in the winter is likely to be in normal working condition. However, if:
- battery serviced type, and then you need to check the level and density of the electrolyte, if necessary, top up. If the scatter of measurements in density from bank to bank is different, or an electrolyte clouding is traced, then you need to think about buying a new battery;
- maintenance-free batteries also need attention, you need to look at the indicator of its condition, it should be green, in most parts of the battery.
An important point is battery recharging. If necessary, such a process can be carried out using a conventional or intelligent starting-charging device. The latter option is much better, because with it you can determine the status of the battery and other indicators. And if it is difficult to carry out an independent diagnosis, then it is better to turn to the service station, where a specialist will accurately determine the need for maintenance, replace the battery or indicate its normal working condition.
Change the fuel and cabin filter
If the car engine on a diesel engine, then the replacement of the fuel filter is essential. The reason for this is fuel, which may not be of sufficient quality and, because of long-term operation of the car in winter, will lead to clogging of this component. In order not to face the problem of repairing the fuel system, it is better to adhere to this recommendation; it will be much cheaper and faster. If the engine is on gasoline, the filter must be replaced in accordance with the instructions to it.
Regarding cabin filters, they can also be replaced, because during the period of the autumn-winter season it can accumulate a sufficient amount of moisture. Failure to comply with this recommendation may cause an unpleasant odor in the cabin, fogging of the windshield, as well as a decrease in the efficiency of its operation.
Features of engine maintenance and clutch check
If the motor is controlled by electronics, then a special scanner must be connected to it to perform diagnostics. With its use, it can be traced to whether there were any problems fixed during the winter use. If the control is carried out mechanically, then you can resort to the services of a specialist or do it yourself.
1. Check the oil level, as well as the level and time of its replacement, it may be necessary to replace it.
2. Inspect the space under the hood, because winter driving can cause any damage, especially if snow and ice fall under the lower protection compartment.
3. Visually inspect the cable, wires for good condition and the absence of gaps, as well as for the presence of traces of oil or working fluids.
4. Check the level of antifreeze, the condition of the rollers, belts and protective covers.
It is also important to pay attention to the clutch, in cars with a manual gearbox, because, undoubtedly, in wintertime the driver was slipping or driving away from a snowdrift. In this case, the friction disc may be damaged and the clutch will gradually slip, and its condition will deteriorate with time.
We carry out tire diagnostics
Regarding tires it is necessary to approach the process of replacing them with special care, because using winter tires on asphalt is possible, but summer tires on ice are not safe to use. And since sometimes there are cases of night frosts, we recommend that this process be postponed for a certain period, when the air temperature will be higher and the weather conditions will become more stable.
Continuing to ride on winter tires, it is also worth thinking about their diagnosis. We recommend visiting the service station or self-diagnosing: measure the tire pressure, inspect the treads and sidewalls for damage. If necessary, you can pump up tires using a compressor or pump. If there is no such device or it is necessary to replace the old device with a new one, then we recommend visiting our website, here a huge amount of such equipment is presented. With delivery in Ukraine, you can buy auto compressors in Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa on 130.com.ua.
Examining the interior, body and paintwork
An important point in preparing for the spring is the appearance of the vehicle, as well as the internal state of the cabin.
1. We carry out ventilation of the cabin. Since inside the car can feel dampness, due to the excess amount of moisture in the carpet, so this process is extremely necessary. On a sunny day, you can open all the doors, take out the floor mats and ventilate the car.
2. After winter, the car can also «get» another set of scratches, scuffs or dents on the body. The driver needs to inspect the paintwork and, if necessary, carry out a number of procedures to restore the former beautiful and brilliant appearance of the body part of the car.
After all these processes, the car will not only be different in good condition of mechanisms, but also a beautiful appearance.
«Throwing» extra load – cleaning in the trunk
For those who prefer to ride in the car in the winter safely, and they have anti-skid chains/belts/bracelets, it is time to get rid of these devices. This also applies to ladders for driving out of snowdrifts, shovels, and other winter gear. After that, you need to clean the trunk. Car vacuum cleaners with the function of dry and wet cleaning are perfect for cleaning luggage space. This device can be thoroughly cleaned the entire surface and hard to reach places in this part of the car. Do not interfere with such cleaning and in the cabin of the vehicle. Using the vacuum cleaner, you can get rid of dirt and dust that has accumulated over a long time of winter operation of the machine.
Why is it important to maintain and diagnose all systems?
This list can be continued for a very long time, it depends on the driving style of the driver and the condition of the vehicle. However, it is worth considering that the seasonal testing of all systems is extremely important, the service life of the car, its mechanisms and, of course, the external condition of the body and the interior of the car depends on it.
For some motorists, their cars are a reliable «friend» and «assistant»; therefore, it is necessary to monitor it accordingly. At the same time, it is important to bear in mind that car maintenance after winter operation is an opportunity prevent or get rid of minor faults until becoming serious problems.