Car check – All set for spring
Although our car is mostly driven by my wife, the spring check is a fixture in my diary. I then roll up my sleeves and make sure our car is all set for spring. And even if it's a demanding job, I always enjoy doing it – a car check! During winter every car has a lot to deal with: rain, snow, ice, salt and a whole lot more. All that doesn't just spoil the look of a vehicle, but doesn't do the electronics and mechanical parts any good either.
When I was an apprentice mechanic, the garage foreman always called out:"Check the lights, water, air!"
I haven't forgot this and today I simply add a car check when I'm changing over the tyres from winter to summer.
My checklist for a car check:
This of course includes checking and topping up all fluids such as engine oil, radiator antifreeze, brake fluid and windscreen washer fluid.
Tip: I can particularly recommend using the mouldable funnel so as not to spill any engine oil! If you want to check the radiator antifreeze and brake fluid, there are two test devices that are perfect for the task.
Tipp: Um nicht mit Motoröl zu kleckern, kann ich euch vor allem den formbaren Trichter empfehlen! Wenn man den Kühlerfrostschutz und die Bremsflüssigkeit prüfen möchte, gibt es zwei Prüfutensilien, die hierfür genau richtig sind.
Wheels, tyres and brakes
When changing wheels, I inspect all tyres for damage and wear patterns and also check the tread depth and date of manufacture. I additionally check the tyre pressures and correct them if necessary. Air pressure is a key factor here! If it's wrong, it will affect the braking distance, as well as the wear on tyres and many other things. While I'm at it, I also check the thickness of the brake pads and brake discs. I use a vernier calliper here.
It's also very important to make sure the lighting system is functioning properly. It's a good idea to check your lights, particularly after winter. Moisture, chippings and gravel can easily damage the headlights. You should thus inspect all external lights – indicators, reversing lights, headlights and licence plate lighting – to see if they're working properly. If a bulb is faulty, I grab my bulb assortment and replace it.
Every spring I change the passenger compartment air filter. This doesn't just ensure clean air throughout the car, but protects the interior from insects, pollen and petals. I apply lubricating grease to the door locks and hinges, as door hinges tend to squeak after a cold winter! I also check if there's anything missing from the first aid box and that the expiry date hasn't been exceeded.
Windscreen wipers don't generally come out of a hard winter unscathed either. I change them as well. Last of all, I give our car a full clean and polish both inside and out, including an underbody wash. This removes mud, road salt, etc.
Have you got any other tips here? I'd love to hear from you.
I now wish you bon voyage!