Winter has come to an end, spring is in full swing, and there is no better time than April, which also serves as National Car Care Month, to get your car in tip-top shape for summer road trips or simply for driving around town. No matter your transportation needs, it is essential to make sure that your car is in excellent condition to help you reach your destination safely and comfortably.  Whether you use car travel for a daily commute, or if you have a long road trip planned, regular inspections and maintenance can make a difference and help you avoid costly repairs in the future.

While it may seem tempting to put off costly, unexpected repairs, April is the prime time to finally get them taken care of. If your car needs repair services, you should get it the care it needs before the problem gets worse mainly to avoid putting yourself and your car in danger. Regular maintenance can help limit the necessity of unexpected repairs, but admittedly, some problems are inevitable over the lifespan of your car.

We encourage you to bring your vehicle in to allow our professional technicians to inspect everything needed to ensure your safety, but we wanted to offer some tips on things you can do at home today to get into the habit of maintaining a safe vehicle.  

One easy thing to do regularly is to check your lights.  It’s important to check all your lights including turn signals to ensure that they are working properly in order to protect both yourself and fellow motorists. If your lights are not functioning properly, it can lead to impaired visibility which is one of the leading causes of accidents.

Follow these simple steps to check your vehicle’s lights:

  • For all steps, turn on your vehicle and ensure your vehicle is in park:
  • Check your headlights: you’ll turn on your headlights then exit the vehicle to visually check that both headlights are properly illuminated. Also turn on your high beam to ensure both are functioning. Remember, do not use high beams within the city, rain, or fog, it can distract other drivers and hinder your visibility.  
  • Check your fog lights: here, you’ll turn on your fog lights then exit the vehicle to visually check that both fog lights are equally illuminated. 
  • Check your hazard lights: just press the button on your dashboard that is shaped like a triangle to turn your hazard lights on. Step out of your vehicle to make sure that the lights are blinking on both sides of your vehicle. 
  • Check your taillights, and you’ll want to enlist the help of a friend for this one! Tap on the breaks and have a friend make sure that both lights located at the rear of your vehicle are properly illuminated.
  • Check your turn signals: simply activate your left turn signal and check the signal within your dashboard is functioning. Then exit the vehicle and visually check that the left turn signal is properly blinking in the front and rear of the vehicle. Repeat these steps for the right side.

Another simple task is to check and/or replace your wiper blades.  It’s important to ensure that your wiper blades are still working effectively after clearing snow and rain from the winter months. If your wiper blades are frayed, ripped, or are leaving streaks on your windshield it is critical for your safety to change them. You can follow the simple steps below to change the wiper blades yourself, or pay us a visit to have a professional change them for you. 

Follow these simple steps to check the wiper blades of your vehicle and replace them if necessary:

  • Turn on your wiper blades, then listen and look at how your wiper blades clean your windshield. 
  • If they are loud (you can hear them dragging across the window with some effort), rough or not properly cleaning the windshield, it’s probably time to replace the wiper blades.

How to replace the wiper blades:

  • Remove the old wiper blades by pulling up on a clip on top of the wiper blade or pushing down on a small tab on the side of the wiper blade.
  • Put on the new wiper blades by sliding them on in the opposite way that the old wiper blades came off. When the new wiper blades are properly inserted, you will hear a click.

To make sure the new blades are working, turn them on and test the wiper blades the same way you checked your previous wiper blades earlier. 

We hope these steps help you to be more empowered in knowing more about general vehicle maintenance.  As always, if you are in need of a professional technician for vehicle care, please give us a call at Rolf’s Import Auto Service.  We look forward to helping you get on the road safely.