The first day of spring is just under two weeks away! But while the change in season will certainly be a welcome one after this brutal winter, it’s important to remember that the transition from winter to spring is also a time when drivers need to be extra vigilant.
While winter weather and the difficulties of driving through snow, ice and potholes are often viewed as the bigger of two evils, spring weather can be equally difficult for a driver to deal with. Heavy rains often pose a unique set of challenges; in addition, if drivers fail to bring their cars in for regular maintenance, the problems with a car’s batteries, tires, brakes and suspensions that are often caused by winter weather driving can quickly become dangerous during the change in season.
Fortunately, it just takes a few small adjustments and actions to make spring driving that much safer. For starters, knowing exactly what the spring weather could potentially mean for you on the road will allow you to take precautions behind the wheel. Just a few great spring driving tips as highlighted by American Family Insurance are:
- When rain or mist begins, slow down.
- Turn on your fan and defroster to keep the inside of your windshield clear of moisture.
- Avoid driving through big puddles; splashing water could affect your brakes and impair the vision of other motorists.
- Be alert for icy conditions caused by thawing snow, spring rains or mist, especially in shaded areas, and on bridges and overpasses. These areas tend to freeze first.
- Look carefully for pedestrians; they can be difficult to see in rain and fog. (Don’t count on them looking out for you.)
However, it is just as important – if not more so – to take your vehicle in for inspection and maintenance overhaul before the worst of the spring weather begins. One dealer, Yankee Ford, highly recommends adding these 10 things to your car’s spring cleaning checklist:
- Test and replace old or weak batteries, plugs & wires
- Check your car’s tire pressure
- Inspect your car’s belts and hoses to find any that are cracked and need to be repaired
- Have your vehicle’s brake system inspected
- Check the suspension and wheel alignment
- Review your car’s fluid levels (i.e. engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze/coolant, windshield washer fluid)
- Change your engine’s air filter
- Inspect your vehicle’s windshield wipers for cracks and damage
- Clean the interior of your car
- Clean the exterior of your car
It’s as simple as that! By reviewing safe driving tips and giving your vehicle a thorough inspection, you’ll be able to smoothly drive into this wonderful change of season. Have questions or concerns? We recommend getting in touch with a local dealer – or leave your feedback in the comments, and we’ll do our best to help!