Spring Cleaning Maintenance Tips for Your Vehicle: Prepare Your Car for El Niño


As spring approaches, you need to look over your vehicle to determine any maintenance that needs to be performed before hitting the open road. Winter weather, even in a sunny place like San Diego, can wreak havoc on your vehicle.

It’s a good reminder to take a look at the inner workings of your car and make sure there aren’t any maintenance problems that have emerged over the last couple of months. The battery, tires, suspension, brakes and severe weather can all have an influence on your vehicle’s performance. Read on and implement the following tips to protect your vehicle this spring.

Headlamps and Running Lights

Ensure that your lights are always working so you can turn on the headlamps ASAP in the event of heavy rain.

Check Your Tires

Any type of cold weather can influence your tire pressure, so make sure that everything is properly balanced and inflated. Low tire pressure and worn out treads can cause unnecessary problems on the road, so checking your tire pressure and your treads regularly should become a habit not just in springtime but year-round.

Plugs, Wires and Batteries

All of these elements have an important role in your vehicle, and they can be put under stress during the winter months. If you replace old (three years or more) and weak batteries now, you could save yourself money down the road, especially if you have to get towed.


It’s always a good idea to check your brake system at least once a year. Take a look at your brake fluid, lines, hoses, and parking brake to ensure that they are all at the proper levels. You can ask your mechanic to take a look at any wear and tear during your oil change, too.

Fluid Levels

There are many things to check with regard to your fluid levels, but you should not ignore any of them. Look at brake fluid, anti-freeze transmission fluid, engine oil and even your windshield washer fluid.

Air Filters

When you are getting your brakes, transmission fluid or oil changed, make sure that your engine air filter is up to date and clean.

Wheel Alignment and Suspension

Any time you hit a major pothole, this can do significant damage to your struts and shocks. Making sure that you schedule an inspection to deal with leaks or serious wear can alleviate bigger issues down the road.

Belts and Hoses

Look for cracked or worn belts as well as any hoses that are too soft, brittle or blistered. Anything older than five years may need to be replaced.

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