Getting Your Nissan Ready for Summer
Winter weather can wreak havoc on your car, from the salty roads to the dingy slush. Before you head out for a summer road trip, it’s important to give your Nissan a through check-up to make sure it’s ready for the season ahead. These smart tasks are both quick and affordable, and your car will thank you for the added attention with improved performance through the coming season.
Wash Off the Winter
Over the winter months, your car probably became caked with salt and sand, both inside and out. The best option is a professional car wash where you’ll have access to the high water pressure that it takes to remove salt buildup from the undercarriage. If you’re committed to a DIY job, make sure you use a special cleaner designed for the undercarriage, and use an angled shower head on your hose to really battle the signs of winter.
Have Your Brakes Checked
Late spring or early summer is a great time to take your car in to a mechanic for a good once-over. Having your brakes inspected should be at the top of your list this time of year. Winter weather subjects your brakes to extreme temperature conditions when the natural heat of the car collides with freezing temperatures outside. Have a professional look at your brakes to see how they held up to the challenge and whether it’s time for a replacement.
Check Your Tires
While all-season tires are the go-to choice for most drivers, there are some benefits to using a dedicated summer tire. Summer tires have less grooving so there’s more rubber in contact with the road. This gives them better grip, increased speed, and improved agility. Summer tires also offer better cornering, braking, and wet weather driving.
Whether you’re switching your tires or not, you should take a few moments to make sure they’re in good condition. Inspect them for visible wear bars, sidewall bubbles, uneven wear, and proper inflation. If you’re due for new tires, take care of this task before you begin your summer driving.
Have Your Tires Aligned and Rotated
A tire rotation is a quick task that you should schedule every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. If you’re having trouble keeping track, just make sure you rotate the tires with your oil change. Though you may not need an alignment, make sure your mechanic checks. If your car drifts to one side as you’re driving, this is often a good indicator that you’re not quite aligned.
Top Off Battery Fluid
If you have a sealed battery, you can skip this step. Everyone else should check the fluid levels on their battery. If it’s low, top it off with distilled water. Don’t get stingy on your water with this task, as it’s crucial that you use the right liquid for the diluted acid bath that your battery sits in.
Replace Your Wiper Blades
You need new wiper blades approximately every six to 12 months. Winter salt can cause premature aging, so you should keep an eye on the blades as spring and summer approach. Swap your wiper blades out before you’re caught in a heavy rainstorm if there are any signs that they’re not in top condition. If your blades chatter when they move across the windshield, create streaks on the glass, don’t make full contact with the window, or exhibit tears or cracks, it’s time for a new pair.
Inspect All Your Fluids
There are several fluids in your Nissan that you should keep an eye on. Top these off as needed before summer to make sure your road trips and weekends away go as smoothly as possible. Your fluid check-up should include:
- Automatic transmission fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Brake fluid
Clean Out the Car
When you’re battling chilly winter weather or drizzly spring days, it’s easy to make excuses for the items you leave out in your car. As soon as you get a warm day, head out to thoroughly clean the interior. Take one bag for trash and a second for items that need to go back in the house. If you don’t have a good place for the items you keep in the car, consider adding some smart organization solutions like a trash bag, caddy between the seats, or pocket organizer.
With proper care and attention, you can make sure your Nissan is in prime condition for all your summer adventures. Give your car a quick servicing now and you can stay safe all season.