Today is Spring Day in South Africa (and the rest of the global South)! As we bid farewell to the chilly winter and embrace the warm and vibrant days of spring, it's the perfect moment to consider the well-being of your trusty vehicle. Spring is the ideal season to show your car some love, especially after it has weathered the challenges of the cold winter months, and before it has to endure the blazing heat of summer months.

But why is spring the opportune time to service your vehicle? The answer lies in the transition from winter to summer. As winter bids adieu, it leaves behind the aftermath of harsh temperatures, icy roads, and wear and tear on your car's components. Now, as the sun begins to shine more brightly and the summer heat beckons, your vehicle needs a little extra attention.

In this article, we'll explore the essential spring auto maintenance checklist, starting with what components to inspect after braving the winter chill and transitioning into what to address before the scorching summer heat, holidays, and those thrilling cross-country road trips.


After Winter: Components to Check 

Winter, with its frigid temperatures and challenging road conditions, can take a toll on your vehicle. To ensure your car is ready for the change in seasons, begin with a thorough inspection of these crucial components:

  1. Belts and Hoses: Cold weather can cause rubber belts and hoses to become brittle or develop cracks. Check for signs of wear, including cracks, leaks, blisters, and softening. Replace any damaged belts or hoses promptly to prevent unexpected breakdowns.
  2. Battery: Winter's harsh conditions can strain your vehicle's battery. Test its performance and check for secure mounting, clean connections, and the absence of corrosion. If your battery is more than five years old, consider replacing it to avoid being stranded later.
  3. Fluids: Cold temperatures can lead to condensation and moisture buildup in your vehicle's fluids, potentially causing wear. Check and replenish all essential fluids, including brake fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Refer to your owner's manual for recommended flushes and replacements.
  4. Tyres: Tyres are your vehicle's only point of contact with the road. Check tyre pressure, including the spare, as they tend to lose air during the winter. Look for irregular tread wear, cuts, bruises, or sidewall damage. Rotate your tyres every 3,000 to 5,000 miles and replace them if they're worn or damaged.
  5. Windshield and Wipers: Stone chips and small cracks can occur at any time, but they grow with the thermal expansion of your windshield. If you picked up any rock chips and cracks in your windshield during the winter, make sure to address any damage promptly to maintain safety and prevent further spreading. Don't forget to inspect and replace your wiper blades, as they're essential for visibility during spring showers.
  6. Brakes: Listen for any unusual sounds like grinding, clanking, or squealing when braking. Inspect your brakes at least quarterly to ensure they're in optimal working condition.


Before Summer: Components to Address

As summer approaches, bringing with it scorching temperatures, summer holidays, and long cross-country road trips, it's crucial to prepare your vehicle accordingly. Here's what to focus on:

  1. Cooling System: Check your vehicle's cooling system, including the radiator and hoses, to prevent overheating during hot summer days. Ensure the coolant is at the correct level and that there are no visible leaks.
  2. Air Conditioning: Ensure your air conditioning system is functioning optimally. If you notice reduced cooling performance, have it inspected and regassed if necessary.
  3. Tyres: Summer heat can increase tyre pressure, so adjust it as needed. Inspect your tyres for any damage or excessive wear. Proper tyre maintenance is crucial for safe long-distance travel.
  4. Engine Oil: Refer to your owner's manual for oil change intervals and stick to the recommended schedule. Clean oil is essential to keep your engine running smoothly, particularly during long journeys.
  5. Lights and Mirrors: Clean all exterior and interior lights to guarantee optimal visibility. Ensure your mirrors are functioning correctly and replace any damaged or foggy light covers.
  6. Vehicle Servicing: Schedule a comprehensive vehicle servicing before embarking on your summer adventures. Regular servicing enhances fuel efficiency, prolongs your vehicle's lifespan, and maintains its resale value.


In essence, spring serves as the bridge between the harsh winter and the sweltering summer, making it the ideal season to service your car. By addressing any issues that may have arisen during the winter and preparing your vehicle for the challenges of summer, you ensure a smoother, safer, and more enjoyable driving experience as you embark on those exciting summer adventures. So, take advantage of the fresh energy of spring, book that service appointment, and give your car the attention it deserves—it will thank you with a trouble-free journey through the sunny days of summer!

Your vehicle is more than just a mode of transportation; it's a trusted companion on your journeys. By following this spring auto maintenance checklist, you'll ensure your car is ready for the changing seasons, the summer heat, and those memorable cross-country road trips. Don't delay—give your ride the attention it deserves, and it will reward you with a safe and enjoyable driving experience throughout the year.