Many of the typical expert recommendations for preparing your car for the spring and summer don’t apply to driving in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, or most of Israel. We typically don’t winterize tires here and don’t have to contend with salt and snow. But we do have rain, and even cold weather itself takes a toll on automobiles, so as the spring season approaches, here’s what you need to do to have your car in top shape.
- Check your alignment. If your car seems to veer to one side or just doesn’t stay totally straight, something might be off. It’s fairly inexpensive to fix and can save you from loads of problems that might otherwise arise later.
- Check your brakes. If they’re noisy or rough when braking, chances are you need new brake pads. Long vacation drives require brakes in good condition.
- Check your windshield wipers. Winter is the time they’re used the most, and you want to see that they’ve stayed in good shape for the new driving season. Israel experiences plenty of dust during the spring and summer, and you’ll still need to use your wipers quite a bit, even though the rain ceases for a few months. Life expectancy of wipers is only six months to a year.
- Rotate the tires. Tired should be rotated every so often to make sure the tread is even. Check the overall tire tread for adequacy, especially if you’re nearing the time the tires will need to be changed. Without proper tread, the tires can’t maneuver well and become more prone to accidents.
- Get a good interior and exterior cleaning. Your car’s likely been through a lot over the winter getting pounded by rain, hail and perhaps snow (it happens here sometimes, too!) so the exterior may have plenty of dirt and be discolored. The interior is full of whatever’s your shoes have schlepped in, although you might want to wait until right before Pesach to do the inside so you don’t have to do it twice. You can clean your car yourself, just make sure to use car cleaning solution instead of plain soap, and use a hose to get the undercarriage cleaned well from dirt and grime buildup. If you’re going to dry it, use a natural-fiber cloth.
- Check all fluid levels, which may get depleted over the winter season. You can usually do this yourself when you open the hood, but if you’re not sure, your mechanic can easily take a look. You’ll want to ensure that air coolant is up and ready for the hot weather.
- Check under the hood to make sure that all of the belts, wires and hoses are intact. If anything is cracked, you’ll want to have them repaired immediately. Inspect the air filters so they’re clean and ready for aircon use. You won’t want to have to wait for your car when it’s already hot and sweaty and your air conditioning fails.
- Test your battery strength. Winter’s harsher conditions strain your battery more, and you’ll need to make sure that it’s still well-functioning.
All in all, it’s best to have the car ready for hot weather use before it gets too hot outside. A few quick and inexpensive checks will have your car in shape for perfect spring and summer driving.
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