Just as spring cleaning your house is a habit, so should a spring tune-up for your car, especially before that much-anticipated road trip. Even though more than one in three drivers (37%) say they want to stay on top of car maintenance this year, what many people don’t realize is that the snow, freezing temperatures and salt, as well as potholes that develop as the roads finally thaw, can do a number on your car. Make sure your car is in top shape for any trip with five spring cleaning tune-ups.
(BPT) - Americans are ready for spring weekend getaways and road trips. According to the latest Gauge Index survey from Hankook Tire, most of us are planning an outdoor getaway. The beach (51%) is the top vacation Americans are planning this spring, followed by a national park (39%) for the outdoorsy type and an amusement park (31%) for the thrill seekers.
Just as spring cleaning your house is a habit, so should a spring tune-up for your car, especially before that much-anticipated road trip. Even though more than one in three drivers (37%) say they want to stay on top of car maintenance this year, what many people don’t realize is that the snow, freezing temperatures and salt, as well as potholes that develop as the roads finally thaw, can do a number on your car. Make sure your car is in top shape for any trip with five spring cleaning tune-ups:
1) Check your oil
The survey found that a quarter of Americans would like to learn how to change their oil. While actually changing your oil is a bit more involved, checking oil levels before heading out is just a matter of looking under the hood. To do so, be sure the car is on level ground, let the oil settle for a few minutes, then pull out the dipstick — it usually has a yellow or red handle, but the owner’s manual will direct you where to look. Wipe the dipstick clean, then push it all the way back in, wait a second, and withdraw again. If the oil lands between the two markers, you’re ready to roll. Otherwise it’s time for an oil change.
2) Monitor your air pressure
A quick air check can be the difference between a bumpy road trip and smooth sailing. Begin by driving around for a couple of miles because tires that have been parked for a while won’t have as accurate of a pressure reading. Then remove the valve cap from the tire, place the pressure gauge on the valve stem, and press until the hiss sound disappears and the gauge offers a reading. This reading should match the recommended PSI, which you can find on the driver’s side door jamb or in the owner’s manual. If the reading indicates the tires need air, head to your local tire shop or gas station.
This is also a good time to check all four tires’ treads. Insert a penny with Lincoln’s head facing down — and if his entire head is visible, it’s time to replace your tires. For those who do need new tires, be sure to consider your driving habits and upcoming travel destinations, to ensure a flat tire doesn’t hold up any adventure. If you’re among the 44% of drivers who consider themselves adventurous like an SUV and are heading off the beaten path, consider rugged off-road tires, like the Hankook Dynapro AT2 All-Terrain Tire.
3) Replace your windshield wipers
Snow and ice can really wear down the blades on windshield wipers. Look for cracks, creases or imperfections in the blade’s rubber, or if you notice streaks or grime on your windshield when using the wipers, it’s time to replace! Make sure the washer fluid is topped off by looking at the white, translucent container with a windshield or water symbol on it. Then just remove the cap and check the fluid level in the reservoir so that you’re ready to handle any weather down the road.
4) Update your roadside assistance
Spring is a good time to make sure your roadside assistance plan is up to date — especially for the 42% of drivers behind the wheel of a vehicle six years or older. Be sure your service card is valid to give yourself peace of mind for any trip.
5) Wash your car
Snow and salt can leave a lasting impact, especially within the wheel wells of a car. Give your vehicle a thorough cleaning to prevent any rust or permanent damage. Besides, everyone wants their car to look shiny and clean in those road-trip social media posts as they head out for their spring getaways!
No matter what destination drivers are steering toward this spring, a few quick tune-ups will keep things running smoothly, all season long.
(BPT) - Chances are you chose your current car or truck because of specific features or performance capabilities. These vary from vehicle to vehicle, and what one automobile may have, the other may lack. Thankfully, there are many ways to enhance the performance of your car or truck. According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), upgrading stock parts with aftermarket versions can instantly improve your car's performance and is relatively simple to do. Many companies offer different options for your car, so do your research and install the part that best suits your needs.
Replace the air filter: An air filter helps remove dirt and particles from the air that your engine uses to burn fuel. Clean air results in better gas mileage and improved acceleration. Filters are also designed to allow the correct amount of air into the engine for optimal performance. By increasing the amount of clean air that enters your engine, you increase its air-fuel mixture, resulting in improved performance.
To increase the amount of clean air entering your engine, simply replace the stock filter with a performance aftermarket air filter, which will help enhance horsepower, acceleration and torque, and may also provide better fuel economy and longer engine life. Additionally, some aftermarket air filters don't need to be changed as often as stock filters because they don't get clogged as quickly, and some you can clean yourself and put them back to use.
Upgrade the exhaust: After improving your engine combustion with an aftermarket air filter, upgrade your car's exhaust system for better performance. If your exhaust pipe is too small for the amount of combusted air that is now exiting the cylinders, it will lead to an increase in air resistance and create back pressure. By simply replacing the stock muffler you will create better airflow. To further enhance performance, have a qualified expert installer add aftermarket headers and bigger pipes.
Reduce weight: By just lowering the overall weight of a car, you will enhance its performance, especially in regard to acceleration. An easy way to reduce weight is to replace the stock wheels, which are typically made of steel, with alloy models. Alloy wheels will not only lower the weight but also enhance the look of your car. Other easy ways to reduce weight are by using ceramic brakes and running a lighter aftermarket battery.
Almost every part of your car can be replaced by an aftermarket version made of lighter material, such as carbon fiber or aluminum, so look into what part swap will give you the biggest weight savings for your buck.
Switch oil: Something as simple as switching to a higher-quality aftermarket oil can enhance performance. A higher-quality oil reduces friction between the moving parts of an engine, resulting in less power needed to operate. It may also do a better job of dissipating heat, which can extend the life of your engine.
Research: The aftermarket industry offers many choices to enhance the performance of your car, so be sure to research what's available. Manufacturers introduce new products annually at the SEMA Show, the leading trade show for businesses in the automotive industry. Consumers are able to connect with some of these businesses at the official SEMA Show after-party, also known as SEMA Ignited, where one-of-a-kind custom vehicle builds featuring the newest aftermarket products parade out of the convention center before making their way to the ultimate car show open to the public. For more information, visit www.semaignited.com.
Interested in Publishing on The Auto Idea?
Send your query to the Publisher today!