Spring in Sydney is an exciting time. We start to venture out a bit more often because the weather, although still a bit erratic at times, is getting warmer. We’re doing some of the things we weren’t able to do while we were hibernating over winter.
It also means that the end of the year is at least within sight and that means we’re thinking, and maybe even planning, our holidays. Whether you take a holiday, spend more time going away for weekends or just more regular weekend runs to and from the beach, you need to make sure your car is in good shape.
Winter miles, with the cold temperatures and the exposure to wet weather, are hard on your car. Your vehicle may have been susceptible to more wear and tear than usual or if your car has suffered from a lack of driving then there might be a few glitches resulting from it not having a good run for some time.
Whatever the reasoning, a car inspection and service will identify any of those problems and hopefully prevent them from becoming major issues.
Even if you have a trusted mechanic, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety and the safety of your family so it’s important that you understand and take responsibility for your vehicle’s safety standards.
Here’s a spring, car maintenance checklist of issues that your mechanic should be looking for when they carry out your Spring service:
Oil and oil filters. You can’t expect your engine to run as efficiently as possible if you don’t change your engine oil regularly. Some of the problems include poor performance, higher than usual fuel consumption and potentially, engine damage. Change your oil and oil filters in accordance with the recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual and you’ll go a long way to keeping your engine running problem free.
Power steering, brake and other fluids. While you’re changing your oil and oil filters, it’s a good opportunity to check your power steering, brake, and transmission fluids; windshield washer fluid; and your coolant. Replenish low levels or flush them if that’s recommended in your manual. If your levels have dropped or are dropping more often than they should then that’s unusual and good reason for your mechanic to check for a leak
New wiper blades? After a few months of pretty consistent rain, some of it heavy, your wiper blades might be due for a change. It’s certainly something your mechanic should be looking out for.
Time for a new battery? If your battery is in excess of five years old, it’s probably worth having it replaced especially after winter because cold weather can take its toll on batteries. If you don’t replace your battery you should at least check that your battery is securely mounted and make sure the connections are clean, tight, and corrosion free.
Look for chips or cracks in your windshield. Chips in your windshield can affect you at any time of the year so if you notice a chip or crack, no matter how small, have it either repaired or replaced immediately. You may not realise that any damage to your windshield can compromise the effectiveness of airbags, seatbelts, roof stability, and your personal safety in the event of an accident. If your windshield has a crack, it’s important to have it repaired or replaced immediately.
Check your lighting. Exterior and interior lighting is one of those maintenance issues that need to be addressed at any time of the year. The importance of your lighting is self explanatory from a safety point of view; both for your safety and for the safety of other road users, but you can also be fined heavily if you are pulled over by authorities.
Parts that need lubricating. If you require regular chassis lubrication it will be a recommendation that appears in your owner’s manual. Remember that if you have any replacement parts such as steering and suspension components then they may require periodic lubrication.
Check your belts and hoses. Sydney temperatures aren’t extreme but we are exposed to intermittent low temperatures and over winter you may have spent some time out of Sydney in much colder temperatures. Cold weather can harden and damage rubber, so it’s important to check your belts and hoses for damage. Damaged rubber can mean cracks and blisters that cause leaking and your belts can loosen, crack, fray, or glaze. If you are replacing your belts then it is likely that you’ll need replace the tensioner and pulleys that keep your new belt from slipping.
Check your filters. Your engine air filter; cabin air filter, and your fuel filter are one of a number of important filters that should be checked for damage or clogging and if necessary they should be replaced.
Check your tyres. There are few more important vehicle parts than your tyres. The tread, pressure and absence of cuts and abrasions are integral to the safety of your vehicle and therefore the safety of anybody in your car. It’s very important to rotate your tyres every 10,000 kilometres and if your tires are worn or damaged then it’s important to replace them.
Even if you are a customer of the best car repair shop in Sydney, take this Spring maintenance checklist and tick it off against your invoice to make sure all of the recommended work has been carried out.
And if you are less than satisfied or if your mechanic isn’t paying as much attention to the safety checks on your vehicle as you would expect, contact Southern Cross Auto Repairs. We carefully follow manufacturers instructions and we believe your safety, and that of your family is our primary responsibility.