5 Spring Cleaning Car Maintenance Musts That Help Avoid Accidents
The beginning of spring is the season for enjoying warmer weather, the Farmer’s Market, and sunshine nearly every day. If you’re like most Charlestonians, you’re probably driving your car to the beach for weekend trips and around town to festivals. And you’re not alone– according to USA Today, the busiest days of the year to drive include Spring Break, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Fridays in the summer. Unfortunately, increased traffic means a greater risk of automobile accidents. Prepare your car for the busy travel days ahead with these five tips.
- Inspect the wipers
Since ice and heavy rain can damage your wipers, you’ll want to check to make sure they are working effectively and haven’t broken. If the blades appear dirty, clean them at home using a rag and water mixed with white vinegar. Tighten any loose screws to prevent losing one of the wiper blades. If you need replacement wipers, you can take your car to a repair shop to make sure your wipers will work during an unexpected summer shower.
Don’t forget to top off your car’s windshield washer fluids, since these can be important for clearing the windshield if it is covered in bugs after driving on the interstate on a warm summer day.
- Check the battery
A season of cold mornings can prematurely damage your car’s battery. Moisture and cold air can also cause corrosion on the battery cables. Check the water levels, unless your car has a sealed battery. Consider taking your car in to have the battery’s charge checked or to have a replacement battery installed.
A dead battery can result in missed vacation plans or it could trap you on the side of the road. It’s a good idea to keep jumper cables in the trunk of your car in case you need to jump-start your car’s battery.
- Test your brakes
When driving in winter weather, visibility is poor and you may find yourself using your brakes more often. To prepare your car for the busy travel days of spring and summer, as well as repair any damage incurred during winter driving, take your car to the shop to have a professional examine them. If you’re traveling during high traffic days and can’t stop in time when the car in front of you slams on the brakes, you could be involved in a serious accident.
If your brakes are making squealing or grinding noises, or you are having difficulty stopping, take your car in for repairs as soon as possible.
- Replace tires
Depending on the wear and tear on your car, your tires may need to be replaced by the end of the colder season. If you’ve driven in snowy or rainy weather when visibility was poor, you may have hit potholes in the road that you may have otherwise avoided. Since tire treads can wear thin without any warning signs, visually inspect your tire for any nails or damaged treads.
Visual inspections and air pressure checks should be done at least once a month. If you are concerned about the safety of your tires, replacing them before travelling on a long vacation in the heat may help you avoid an accident or a flat tire on the side of the road.
- Run the air conditioning
If there are any problems with your car’s air conditioning system, such as low Freon levels or a loose belt, you’ll want to find out before you’re sitting in traffic sweating in 90 degree heat. You can test your car’s air conditioning on your own, or take it into the shop for a professional examination.
Symptoms of an AC system on the verge of breaking include hearing loud noises when the compressor is running or noticing that the air is not blowing as cool as usual. Don’t wait for a brutally hot day to realize that your air conditioning system is broken. And although not directly linked to accidents, a hot car can cause elevated stress levels that could result in dangerous or distracted driving.
At the John Price Law Firm, we have served the Lowcountry community since 1985. Our experienced, dedicated lawyers represent clients who have been the victims of car collisions, medical negligence, and workplace accidents. Give our team a call at (843) 552-6011 and let us fight for you.