There are a number of articles available online and via car maintenance books that discuss how to prepare your vehicle for summer and winter. However, those that help you understand how to prepare your vehicle for spring are rare. The truth is, though, your Land Rover takes a beating in cold weather. It’s subjected to freezing temperatures, ice treatments on the road and consequences of winter weather, like pot holes. Making sure it’s ready for the coming spring months is essential if you want your Land Rover to be in the best shape possible for the road.
Preparing Your Land Rover for Spring
So, where should you begin? Here are a few car parts to look at and a few maintenance steps to take once the cold weather ends.
- Exterior- The first thing to do after a long winter is to wash the exterior of your Land Rover thoroughly. This is especially important to the undercarriage, which has been subjected to corrosive road salt and sand that could cause it and Land Rover parts to rust if they are allowed to stay where they are. While you’re doing a bit of spring cleaning, make sure to check for signs of rust as well.
- Tyres- If you need to, swap out those winter tyres for normal ones. Make sure to check that the pressure in each tyre is appropriate and has sufficient tread as well. If you didn’t have snow tyres through the winter and it’s been more than 5,000 miles since the tyres were rotated, have this done. Rotating the tyres ensures each one wears evenly.
- Brakes- Stopping on ice and snow isn’t good for the brakes on your Land Rover. Your pads and rotors may be worn after months of winter driving. These car parts should be inspected to see if they need to be replaced before you get back on the road.
- Alignment- One of the biggest road problems caused by winter weather is pot holes. These holes not only blight the roadway and turn each drive down the motorway into a spontaneous obstacle course, they can also damage Land Rover parts related to the suspension and alignment of your vehicle. If this has become a problem, you might notice the Land Rover pulls slightly to one side or another while you’re driving. Fix this problem immediately to prevent uneven tyre wear by having the car realigned by a professional.
- Top off Fluids- Now that it’s finally gotten a bit warmer outside, take a few hours over the weekend to open the bonnet and check all your fluids. If you need to top off some of them, so do. Pay special attention to the engine oil and the windscreen washer fluid. The oil is essential to the function of your engine and needs to be full; if it appears particularly dirty or it’s been a long time since your last oil change, schedule one. Your windscreen washer fluid will likely be low, especially if you live in a snowy area where you needed to use it often during the winter. Replace what is necessary.
- Belts and Hoses- While you have the bonnet open, take a few minutes to check the belts and hoses under it. Make sure each of these car parts is attached to the appropriate part and not loose or flailing around. Squeeze hoses gently while the engine is running. If they feel soft or you feel air coming out of them, it could indicate they need to be replaced.
- Windscreen Wiper Blades- One of the most over-looked Land Rover parts is often the wiper blades. While this may seem silly, especially since you have to look at them through the windscreen each time you drive, many car owners forget their importance until they actually need them. Winter can be rough on these car parts. They come in contact with grime, dirt and salt throughout the colder months that can damage them significantly. Because spring brings a lot of rain, you need the visibility provided by your wiper blades. Check them for wear and damage, replacing them if you need to.
Spring Cleaning for Your Land Rover
The exterior isn’t the only area of your vehicle that needs a bit of spring cleaning. The inside does too. The carpets and floor mats inside your vehicle can quickly become filthy over the winter months from the bottom of your shoes as you track in dirt, mud, slush, snow and ice.
Start the spring cleaning process by removing everything from the car that isn’t necessary. Floor mats can be removed as well and washed thoroughly. You may also be able to remove some or all of the seats from the car; if you can, do so as this will make cleaning it much easier. Use a cordless vacuum to remove as much dirt as possible from the floor of your vehicle, then apply a vehicle-appropriate carpet cleaner to the area.
Use a fabric auto cleaner to clean the seats of your Land Rover. If you have leather seats, the process is much easier. Spray a leather-friendly cleaner onto the surfaces you need to wash and wipe it away with a clean cloth. Make sure not to scrub too hard if you’re cleaning leather. The dye in the leather may come off if you do so.
As you’re cleaning, don’t forget the small details that can really make the car shine. Use Q-tips to get into small spots and brush away dirt in leather grainy areas using a new soft-bristle toothbrush. You’ll be surprised at how great the car looks when you take care of these details.
Are you ready for spring? While you may be ready for the warmer weather, make sure you’re ready for the road as well. Take care of your car by maintaining its car parts and addressing certain problems caused by winter weather. By doing so, you’ll be able to feel safe and comfortable on the road this spring- and so will your Land Rover.