How to keep company vehicles running smoothly this spring
Winter can take a heavy toll on vehicles, both in terms of appearance and driving capabilities. Spring is a great time to clean up not just your business, but also your company vehicles.
Wash and wax
Winter driving can cause a substantial amount of road grime, debris, and salt buildup on vehicles. Allowing dirt and grime to remain on a vehicle can affect its paint and finish, while a buildup of salt can lead to rust and other serious problems. To combat this, deep clean the exterior and wax your vehicles as soon as winter is over.
Inspect your tires
Tires affect the ride, handling, traction, and safety so it’s important to check not only the main set of tires but the spare tire as well.
Tires can lose air naturally over time. You should check all four tires of every company vehicle monthly to make sure they are within the recommended pressure limits. Having under- or over-inflated tires can lead to blowouts, flat tires, or other tire failures.
Lighten the load
The amount you carry in your vehicle can affect tire performance. You’ll find the load limit — the most a vehicle can safely carry — on the tire information placard, vehicle certification label, or owner’s manual. Exceeding this limit will increase the wear on tires.
Inspect the tread
When tire tread is worn down, it won’t provide the traction a vehicle needs to keep from sliding on the road. A simple way to test it is to insert a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread is too worn, and the tire should be replaced.
Rotate the tires
It’s important to rotate tires to prevent irregular wear. Experts recommend a tire rotation every 5,000 miles to keep tread wear even. The owner’s manual can guide you on how often this should be done.
For more safety information about tires, visit The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
Replace the wiper blades
If you find that the vehicle’s wiper blades are torn or cracked, they likely won’t perform well during a spring rainstorm. Be sure to replace the blades to make sure you and your employees have clear visibility on the roads.
Check the alignment and suspension
Winter can cause major damage to roadways, and driving over potholes, big or small, can damage a vehicle’s alignment and suspension. To avoid costly claims, be sure to have each vehicle fully inspected and take care when approaching potholes.
Charge it up
Cold temperatures can have a pretty big impact on the battery, so spring is the perfect time to have it tested. While you’re at it, make sure to check that the battery is securely mounted and the connections are clean, tight, and corrosion free. Consider replacing a battery if it is more than five years old.
By keeping up with these simple maintenance tips, you can increase the longevity of your vehicles, but also enjoy a safer and smoother driving experience. If you have concerns about any of the maintenance tasks, don’t hesitate to consult a professional mechanic to prevent any costly claims in the future.