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Mar 072015

It may not look like it outside but Spring is imminent. The snow will be receding and the blacktop revealed. Don’t wait to think about your hibernating car until April when you want it running and available for Caffeine & Carburetors. Charge the battery, pump up the tires and check the fluids. If you didn’t change the oil before storing the car away,  it’s best to do it now. Over a period of time oil becomes gas fouled and therefore doesn’t lubricate internal engine parts as well. Fuel is another consideration as the alcohol mixture we are all mandated to  use is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture ( water) from the atmosphere. In the cold of winter there can be separation and water contamination of the fuel. Hopefully you installed Sta-Bil or some other additive to prevent such an occurrence. Best to top off the tank with fresh gasoline before using the car.

If you are like me, I keep a “To do list” on my cars. Wanting everything in good order come spring, I cycle the cars through the shop. All the aged rubber parts and brake hydraulics should be inspected. Even though there are few miles on the belts and hoses they are made of rubber and can age. Visual inspection can save you costly and inconvenient breakdown. Brake calipers, and wheel cylinders  are similarly made with rubber parts. Cracking or leaking can be detected by visual inspection  and dangerous failure prevented.

yAll fluids should be checked under the hood, the transmission and differential a well. Checking the cars underside can reveal leaks that could cause component failure. Oil as I mentioned before, if it wasn’t changed before storage should be changed now. As my mentor used to say “Oil is cheap engines aren’t.”

I try to use my cars close to home to feel them out before a long trip. The tires may be flat spotted from sitting in one position for to long. A few warm-up cycles may also help. Whatever your agenda for the coming months, service the car now at your leisure and prevent stress on the part of your mechanic  and yourself.

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