North Dakota and other Northern states may experience a slower transition from winter to spring, but that doesn’t mean that your vehicle shouldn’t be ready to go once the temperatures increase. Whether you’re looking forward to a sunny commute to and from work or are already planning that spring break road trip, here is everything you need to know about preparing your car for the changing temperatures and conditions.
Focus On Maintenance
The key to getting your car ready for spring is focusing on maintenance. Start with the basics: check the tires, brakes, and oil levels – be sure that they have all been replaced or serviced as needed. If you haven’t had your vehicle inspected in a while, now is the time to do so. A certified mechanic should be able to give your car a thorough look-over and let you know what needs to be done.
Check the Fluids
One spring essential is ensuring that all of the fluids in your vehicle are up-to-date and at proper levels. These include coolants, brake fluids, antifreeze, and windshield washer fluid. If it has been a while since you checked, now is the time to do so in order to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
Make Sure Your Battery is Ready
Cold weather can take its toll on car batteries, so make sure they are in good shape. Have a mechanic test the battery and make sure it is fully charged. If you need to replace a battery, now is the time to do so before temperatures start rising and causing additional damage or strain.
Replace Wiper Blades
The winter can be hard on wiper blades and windshields, so if there is any wear and tear on your blades, now is the time to replace them. This will ensure that you are able to safely drive in all kinds of weather conditions and that your visibility is never compromised. Even if there isn’t any damage, most mechanics recommend replacing them every 6 to 12 months for safe measures.
Check Your Lights
The days may be longer during spring but it’s still important to check that all of the lights on your vehicle are functioning properly. If a headlight or tail light has gone out, replace it as soon as possible to ensure that your vehicle is safe and road-ready.
Turn Over Your Emergency Kit
If your emergency kit has been optimized for winter, now is the perfect time to start swapping some items for those better used in the spring. This includes changing out winter coats and blankets for lighter layers, stocking up on sunscreen, and replacing snow shovels with flares. However, because North Dakota can be unpredictable and have winter weather persist until nearly mid-year, remember to keep at least a jacket, gloves, and ice scraper on hand in case you are stranded at night.
Haven’t created an emergency kit at all for your vehicle yet? Now is the perfect time, and putting one together can be quite simple. Include a flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, tire inflator/sealant, and non-perishable snacks. You should also always have a first aid kit on hand as well as any necessary medications or medical equipment. Finally, make sure you have a basic tool kit with wrenches and pliers to help with any minor repairs.
By following these “pre-season” tips, you can be sure that your car is road-ready and prepared to handle whatever Mother Nature throws its way. Remember, safety always comes first when it comes to driving in North Dakota — so don’t forget to buckle up and drive carefully!
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