Is your car ready for the spring?

Tips and advice from the pros about spring car care.

  • Mar. 29, 2011 2:00 p.m.
Stockpiled tires at a local auto-mechanic business.

Stockpiled tires at a local auto-mechanic business.

With spring closer than ever, your car may need a tune-up to match the new season.

Here are some tips that can help get your vehicle spring-ready to keep it healthy and you safe on the roads.

“The first thing you want to do is get your winter tires off,” said Fred Kinsey of K5 Mechanical and Tred Pro Tire Centre. “Studded tires have to be off by the end of April. An oil change going into the summer is huge because you are going into different temperatures. Air filters are important for fuel milage too. It is good to know that going into next winter.

“The fact that you are going to have to buy tires will give you time to budget for it. The person who takes them off will be able to tell you the percentage that’s on them and see if they are going to make another season or not.”

According to Kinsey, many people who come in for auto-work are running on lower gas levels.

“They run their gas tanks in the lower bottom quarter all the time and it is very bad on over-heating the fuel pumps if you are below that quarter level,” said Kinsey. “The fuel in the tanks actually cools the pumps. So in some of these small tanks that are only four or five inches deep, if there is only a quarter of a tank of gas there is only an inch of gas in the tank and the filter does not get the proper cooling it needs.”

“I think most people now are more safety conscious than they used to be with their vehicles,” said Wayne Shaw of OK Tire, a mechanic with over 30 years of experience. “Oil changes should be done along with fuel filters. People should look at their steering and suspension because of the roads they have been on.

“Wheel bearings are quite susceptible to being worn as well because of the salt on the roads. They should be checked out in the spring. Shocks are also a big issue when spring time approaches – tires and brakes as well.

“Fuel and air filters should be done after winter where there is more fuel going into the engine and oil gets thinned out. They should be looked at if not changed. If you do not keep track of this you could have engine problems down the road. You get into summer where there is more heat in your engine and if the oil is thinned out you are wrecking the inside of the engine.”

Shaw suggests that the filters should be changed at least twice a year and every now and again, mixing some fuel injection cleaner in just to play it safe.

Kinsey stressed that before anyone decides to go on a vacation after the winter is over, they need to have their car checked out.

He explained that they get many people at the centre who are on vacation and realize after the fact that something has gone wrong with their vehicle during the change of season.