At Rudy Schmid, we’ve seen it all when it comes to car maintenance conundrums. When most vehicle owners think of maintaining their vehicles, they likely think of things to do immediately before the winter season.
It is true: being a local auto body shop in Syracuse, NY, we know well that there is quite a lot of preparation that goes into getting a car ready for an Upstate New York winter. What many owners who come to our body shop don’t realize, however, is that there are several things you can (and should!) do in the spring and summer seasons that can actually help you stay one step ahead come winter.
- Consider Rust-Proofing Early
When you live in one of the snowiest cities in the U.S., you see firsthand the damage that months and months of snow and salt can do to a vehicle. The first line of defense? Rust-proofing! Many local auto body shops will offer deals for rust-proofing early in the season, plus you’ll be ready in case of any freak September snowstorms.
- Check Your Battery
Did you know that summer heat can take a major toll on your battery? According to Steve Fox, a Director of Automotive Services for AAA, “Summer heat accelerates the rate of fluid loss and resulting oxidation of battery components, which can leave you stranded without warning.” Having a licensed auto body shop evaluate your battery’s health is a good idea before the temperature soars this summer.
- Make Sure Your Fluid Levels are in Check
In a study, AAA found that 88% of drivers forgo brake fluid maintenance. Yikes! Checking your fluid levels (mainly the “Big Five”: oil, coolant, transmission, power steering, and brake) will keep your car running smoothly and also make breakdowns far less likely.
- Don’t Forget Your Tires (and the Suspension!)
Part of this is obvious: be sure to swap our snow tires for all-season tires, take care to check the pressure regularly, and be sure to have your tires rotated every 5,000 miles. One thing we see that impacts many Syracuse residents? Suspension issues. Due to the long, typically brutal winters, potholes are a regular occurrence on many roads. Driving over icy, bumpy roads all winter is tough on your suspension already. Add in driving over fresh potholes all summer, and your suspension will likely need some love. Replacing worn shocks and joints will help steering performance and ensure you’re safe, regardless of any bumps in the road.
- Do the Little Things
When it’s freezing cold for days on end, we know that a lot of little maintenance falls by the wayside. We get it – as a top local body shop, we’re right there with you, and we know that checking your windshield wipers while knee-deep in the snow sounds as fun as a root canal. Now that the weather is warmer and the days are longer, take some time to do the little things that are forgotten during the colder months: check your windshield wipers for wear (worn wipers can severely impair visibility, especially in a summer rainstorm); look under the hood for any obvious issues (worn hoses, frayed belts, etc.); clean the radiator of debris with a soft brush, and give your car the fancy cycle at the car wash.
Evaluating these things now will not only put you one step ahead come winter but will also ensure that your car is ready for summertime fun, whether that entails a lengthy road trip or staying local to our beautiful Syracuse. We love seeing our local customers, but more than anything, we want you to be safe and ready for anything on the roads, this summer and beyond!