April Showers Mean Automotive Maintenance
Well, spring is in the air, the flowers are blooming, the trees are showing buds and the temperatures are starting to come up. You know what else comes with spring weather, and that’s rain showers! Is your car ready?
Here are some things to keep in mind with the rainy weather right around the corner:
Tires: In rainy weather, hydroplaning is your enemy. Hydroplaning occurs when the car actually skates on a thin layer of water between the tire and the pavement, with the tires losing contact with the road altogether. Your tires are your first line of defense when it comes to keeping control of your car on wet pavement. The tread grooves are designed to channel water away and behind the tire’s contact patch to prevent hydroplaning, but tread that’s too worn can lose the capacity to evacuate water. Here’s a handy way to check your tread depth. State law requires a minimum tread depth of 2/32”, so stick a penny into your tread, Lincoln’s head down. If the rubber reaches the top of Abe’s head, your tires are at 2/32” tread depth. Try again with a quarter. Does the tread reach the top of Washington’s head? That’s a tread depth of 4/32”. Try again with the penny; if the tread reaches the Lincoln Memorial, your tread depth is 6/32”.
Wipers: Even the best windshield wipers are only good for about a year’s time before the UV rays of the sun and normal wear start to take their toll. If you’re noticing streaks and smudges on your windshield in wet weather or if your wipers’ rubber blades are losing strips or are looking chipped, cracked or dried-out, just go ahead and replace them. It’s a simple, inexpensive fix that means a lot for your safety and visibility.
Washer fluid: Wet weather also means a lot of dirt, pollen, and debris on your windshield. Make sure your washer reservoir stays topped off with good quality washer fluid all the time. Water-repellent formulations are available to help the glass bead up water and shed it easily.
Brakes: Stopping distances are longer on wet pavement, so make sure your brakes are in good shape. If you’re noticing problems like one or more wheels tending to lock up and skid, longer brake pedal travel before the brakes engage, pull to one side or vibration while braking, it’s a good idea to go ahead and have your brake pads checked.
At St Lucie Battery & Tire, we want you to be safe year-round! We’ve been the first choice of drivers in the Port St Lucie area for a long, long time, and we’ve got everything you need to keep your car reliable and safe when the spring rains start. Make an appointment with us today and let our technicians make sure your car’s ready for spring driving and the rigors of summer. We want to be your go-to resource for auto repair and maintenance!