No Fooling, April is National Car Care Month!

Washing The Car! Photo: Eric Maclean On Unsplash
Washing the car! Photo: Eric Maclean on Unsplash

Our cars do a lot of work for us. Reward them this month!

They get us where we need to go. They can be our office, our karaoke bar, or our refuge when we need to get away from it all (even if we only just sit in them while parked in our driveway). Yet we don’t always take care of our cars as we should. It’s hard to explain why, as it always feels great to have a clean car. 

But no more kicking the can down the road! This month, take some time to get your ride in order. April is National Car Care Months, so we’ll share our expertise and experience on spring cleaning and car maintenance. In the meantime, here are some tips to kick the month off.

Related: Automatic Car Wash or Hand Washing: Which is Better?

Wipers Up On The Ford Escape Hybrid. Photo: Sara Lacey

Wipers up on the Ford Escape Hybrid. Photo: Sara Lacey

Can You See Clearly Now?

Because we are moving into better weather, refill your windshield wiper fluid. It’s probably low from using it up during the winter. If you need to buy some, get two jugs if you can. It’s always easier to have it on hand to refill the tank effortlessly.

Also, check your wipers and replace them if needed. Winter can be hard on them with all the ice and scraping that can beat them up. I sometimes feel like a new set of wipers can make your car feel almost new.

Repair your windshield if you were the unfortunate recipient of a rock or debris coming at you this winter, though if you get big hailstorms in the spring and summer, you may want to wait. If you’ve got bigger cracks across your field of vision, it needs to be replaced. Driving with a cracked windshield is both dangerous and illegal (in many states), but luckily it’s covered under most comprehensive insurance plans.

Related: When The Snow Is About to Fall, Should I Leave My Windshield Wipers Up?

Acura Nsx Wheels And Brakes. Photo By Kristin Shaw

Acura NSX Wheels and Brakes. Photo: Kristin Shaw

Check the Tire Pressure

Check your tire pressure, and fill your tires with air if they need it. Don’t wait for the tire pressure sensor to tell you they’re low; they are not always accurate. Also, you’ve already lost money to low fuel economy and perhaps done damage to your tires if you wait. Typically, you should check the pressure once a month. If you have winter tires on your car, make an appointment to get them switched out for summer tires (if you don’t do this yourself).

Get that oil change if you’ve been putting it off. Nothing stalls a road trip like a light coming on as you’re trying to get out of town. Also consider doing any other services like checking your brake pads, tire tread and looking at your owner’s manual for scheduled maintenance that may be due.

Related: 7 Things to Know About Tires Before Hitting the Road

Keeping Things Organized, Especially In The Third Row, Is Key. Photo: Maria Smith

Keeping things organized, especially in the third row, is key. Photo: Maria Smith

Clean it Up

Vacuum out the inside of your car, and give yourself a fresh new car air freshener.  This not only gets the dirt, grime, rocks, and salt tracked in from your snow boots, but it helps you to remember warmer weather is coming with that fresh new smell.

Since you are already at the car wash vacuuming your car, you should probably go ahead and give your car a good wash. All that salt from the roads can lead to rust, and no one wants to deal with that madness.

Related: 10 Must-Have Items to Keep Your Car Organized and Ick-Free This Fall

It’s Not Summer Quite Yet, But Do This Anyway

Before you know it, it will be in the middle of those hot summer months, and you will be needing your A/C.  Before that happens, make sure you have your A/C system flushed and filled, so you are ready to tackle those 90-degree summer days.

I’m glad to have National Car Care Month remind us to pamper our rides. It feels like a chore to get your car cleaned up for spring and summer, but it feels so good to have it done.  Plus, it’s a win to have your car in good shape and ready to go when wanderlust strikes.

And of course, as my grandfather used to tell me, when your car is clean, it goes faster!

Sara has written about cars since 2005. She used to beat them up with her kids and write about... More about Sara Lacey