Test your car battery and tire pressure, replace windshield wipers and more
Before you pack your backpack and take that summer first road trip, use this 5-point Pacific Northwest spring car maintenance checklist to make sure nothing interrupts your trip.
After a long, cold and rainy winter, temperatures are rising, the air is fragrant with spring blossoms, and the open road is beckoning. Cold and stormy weather takes a toll on several important components in your car, so it’s a good idea to review this spring car maintenance list every year. Even if spring comes late to the Pacific Northwest, remember to check off these routine maintenance items before the heat of the summer arrives.
1. Test Your Car Battery
Winter’s chill makes your battery work harder and saps its strength, shortening its lifespan. Most of the time, there’s no warning that your battery is about to die. Since the battery is the life force of your vehicle, when it fails, you’re stuck! Avoid finding out the hard way by calling AAA Washington for a battery inspection. Battery inspection is free for AAA Washington members.
A AAA Washington Battery Service Technician will come to you—at work, at home, almost anywhere— and run a full system test and determine if your battery is still in good shape. If it needs to be replaced, the technician’s truck carries an array of batteries to conveniently replace yours on the spot—at a special member price.
AAA Washington uses high-quality, made in the USA, Napa AAA Premium Batteries that meet or exceeds your vehicle manufacturer’s specifications and includes a three-year free replacement warranty. When your battery is replaced by AAA Washington it also includes the safe disposal and recycling of your old battery. (Using an EPA-approved recycling center, AAA Washington recycles every lead battery we replace.)
2. Check Your Tire Pressure
Did you know that for every 10-degree cold shift in the air temperature, your tire pressure decreases by 2%? Winter weather causes tires to become underinflated. Low tire pressure can be very dangerous. As we head into summer, it’s important to check the pressure (PSI) of your tires in the morning before you start your car. Check your owner’s manual to make sure the pressure readings match the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle.
3. Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades
Frosty temperatures, ice, hail, rain and snow damage wiper blades—making them warp, bend, crack, and tear. It is estimated that 46 million drivers are driving vehicles with wipers that cannot adequately clear their windshield, creating hazardous visibility during spring showers. Be sure to replace this important safety component in spring to ensure you can see clearly.
4. Change Your Oil and Filter
Bitter winter weather is hard on your vehicle’s oil and filter. Cold temperatures can cause your oil to become thicker and flow slowly, putting a lot of stress on your engine. Once the chill leaves the air, it’s the perfect time to schedule an oil change to keep your engine purring like a spring kitten.
5. Refill Your Transmission Fluid
Winter wreaks havoc on your car’s transmission, which can lead to very costly repairs. If it gets too cold, the parts contract, causing damage and leaking of transmission fluid. Plus, the fluid can thicken in chilly weather, reducing its ability to lubricate interior parts, causing further damage. In spring, check the transmission fluid level and refill if needed.
Before you embark on that first road trip of the season, be sure to review this spring car maintenance list to ensure that you have a great trip.
Tip: AAA Washington offers free battery testing of your car’s battery and charging system—before something goes wrong while you’re on the road. It’s one of the most important tips on our spring car maintenance list. Visit AAA Washington to schedule battery testing. A trained Battery Service Technician will come to your home, office, or location of your choice and run a test to give you peace of mind that your battery is road trip ready.
Visit AAA Washington Mobile Battery Services to schedule service online or call (800) AAA-HELP. Mobile battery service includes:
- Battery testing with state-of-the-art technology (no emergency needed)
- Diagnosis of common battery related problems
- On-the-spot battery replacement at a special AAA Washington member price
- Service where you are: at home, the office, the grocery store or on the road
- Safe disposal and recycling of your old battery
To learn more about how to maximize the life of your car battery, click here.
Road Trip Tips
Before you go: Get ready for your road trip with a AAA Membership. Get peace-of-mind on the road plus travel and insurance services and much more.
Save on car insurance: AAA members save up to 8% on car insurance.
Get battery service: AAA Mobile Battery Service uses state-of-the-art technology to accurately diagnose battery-related problems. We’ll even replace your battery with a brand-new one if necessary, at a special member price.
Save with AAA member discounts: AAA membership gives you access to exclusive entertainment discounts nationwide.