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Give your car some post-winter TLC (Tender Lovin’ Car Care)

After being subjected to freezing temperatures, heavy rains, snow, ice, potholes and road salt—our cars have been overworked this winter. It’s not always noticeable from the exterior but the strain of driving through harsh winter conditions can cause misalignments, depletion of fluids or damage to overstressed parts.

We’ve put together some post-winter maintenance tips to keep your car in top condition and you and your passengers safe. Following these tips can also help save you money in the long run.

Oil change, fluid flushes and top ups. With your car working extra hard against winter conditions, it’s probably worked through a lot of its fluids. Top up fluids for your car’s windshield and brakes. Come into your local BCAA Auto Service Centre for a Spring Service Package AND A FREE 42-point inspection starting at $58 which includes a wheel alignment check, 4-tire rotation and battery check. BCAA Members also get a free car wash!

Tire wear and tear. Make sure you have at least the minimum tread depth recommended by the manufacturer. You may also need to adjust the tire pressure because the pressure that might have been correct for colder months may need to be adjusted for warmer months. Look in your owner’s manual or inside the driver’s door, or check with the tire manufacturer for the recommended inflation pressure.

Replacing winter tires could be a yes or no. Not all parts of BC are free of winter yet. Hold off on replacing your winter tires until all threat of snow and freezing temperatures are gone in your region or if you plan to travel to mountain areas still covered in snow.

Wheel alignment and suspension. Potholes appear more frequently in the winter months and if you travel regularly on pot-hole riddled roads, a wheel alignment and check up on your car’s suspension is a must. As a BCAA Member, you receive 10% off the labour on select services and repairs such as a wheel alignment, suspension and brake services at BCAA Auto Service Centres.

Pay attention to the brakes. Have your brakes checked for any corrosion or wear from snow and road salt. If you hear a squeaking, whistling or other sound when applying the brakes, have them checked as soon as possible. Those funny noises are sounds that brake-wear indicators make when your brakes are worn.

Replace windshield wiper blades. These may be easy to forget until it’s too late and you’re in the middle of a rainfall and can’t see through your car window. We recommend that you replace your windshield wiper blades every spring which can be worn out or damaged from winter conditions and then again every fall to prepare for winter.

Check hoses and belts. Cold temperatures can make rubber hoses and belts brittle and weak. Have these checked for any cracking or wear. Replace any hoses or belts that show damage.

Wash your car. Be sure to clean the undercarriage which can often have road salt buildup. Check for any signs of rusting or corrosion and make sure all salt buildup has been cleaned from very exterior surface of your car. BCAA Members receive a free car wash with every service at BCAA Auto Service Centres—talk about an added bonus!

Ready for a tire changeover?

Book an appointment at a BCAA Auto Service Centre.