Shreveport Spring Auto ChecklistSpring has sprung here in Shreveport and after the change in temperature; your car may have experienced some changes as well.

It is important to check for things that may have been stressed during the winter before relying on them as summer approaches.  Here is our practical vehicle maintenance checklist to ensure your used car is ready for the grueling heat.

1. Start with your windshield wipers. Inspect the wiper blades for any damage that may have been caused by the chilly temperatures. Examine for any cracks or breaks in the rubber. In the event that you find some, it’s time to replace the wiper blades. If you want to prepare for the summer heat, replace the old blades with ones optimized for the warmer temperatures.

2. Check your battery.  The summer can be worse on your battery than winter and remember there are fluids to be checked in most batteries, so to ensure a quick start every time, check the water as well as the charge in the battery.

3. Take a look at the oil.  Pay close attention to the level and condition of your oil.  The sizzling heat of summer temperatures can be rough on motor oils so make sure it hasn’t been over 3,000 miles since your last oil change.  If it has, it’s time for one.

4. Change or check your coolant.  Make sure the quality of your existing coolant is one that can handle the grueling summer heat.  Inadequate or insufficient coolant in the summer could be a disaster for a used cars engine.

5. Test your air conditioner.   If it is not blowing cold air now, then it definitely won’t when you need it most in the summer.  Check to see if you need to add more refrigerant or have any closed or clogged vents.  You may want to fix or replace any items that are run down before the summer starts.

6. Keep an eye on your tires.  Changes in temperature can cause excess wear and tear on a tire even when the vehicle is not in use.  Improperly inflated tires could not only be dangerous, they can be expensive, as studies show that tire pressure can directly affect your gas mileage.

7. Check the tread. The pressure isn’t only thing to check on the tire.  Make sure the tread acceptable as worn tires can be very dangerous during the wet spring months and can have traction issues on the hot roads of the summer.

8. Examine your belts and hoses.  Keep an eye out for cracks, leaks, swelling or splitting.  If you aren’t sure if the belt or hose is worth replacing, replace it anyway.  You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road during the long, hot summer days because you weren’t sure about an old belt.

If you’ve checked and addressed all of the items contained in the checklist as well as your regular scheduled maintenance, you will be cruising through the summer cool and carefree.