Do These 6 Things Before Spring | Car Maintenance

Toyota Tacoma pulling camper

Spring will be here before you know it. Check out our simple checklist to help make sure your vehicle is ready.


Overheating on the open road isn’t just inconvenient—it can actually cause permanent engine damage. Take a good look under the hood (after the engine has fully cooled, which can take a few hours) and examine your radiator and hoses—any cracks or leaks should be repaired, and all connections should be snug. Shiny areas on belts and hoses are typically a sign of serious wear, and are often the result of extreme heat damage. While you’re at it, make sure to fill your coolant reservoir to the recommended level (a 50/50 mixture of coolant and distilled water is standard). Manufacturers generally advise that coolant be completely flushed and replaced every two years (refer to your owner's manual). If you do need to add/drain some coolant, make sure to keep it out of reach of your furry friends—dogs particularly love the taste of coolant, and drinking even small amounts can be lethal.

Pouring coolant


Winter can be hard on wiper blades, so now is a good time to check that they're in good condition before you get caught in a spring rainstorm. We recommend making sure your wipers are working and the wiper fluid reservoir is full. Need to replace your wipers? Check out new K&N Edge Wiper Blades, designed to provide streak-free performance even in extreme weather conditions.

Person installing windshield wipers on truck


Check to see if your A/C unit is working before summer temperatures arrive. If a repair is necessary, you’ll have a bit more time to prepare before the weather really heats up.

Check to make sure your A/C is working


Examine your tires to make sure you have the manufacturer’s recommended amount of tread remaining. For a quick, at-home check, take a penny (with “heads” facing you) and insert Lincoln’s head into the tread groove. If you can see all of his head, you most likely need to replace your tires. (This is also a good time to check for uneven tire wear). Winter can be hard on brake pads—and if not replaced (if necessary) in the spring, the high temperatures of summer can cause serious brake pad degradation. When looking between your wheel’s spokes, you should be able to see at least one-fourth of an inch of pad—any thinner than that, and you will most likely need them to be replaced. When in doubt, have a trusted mechanic inspect your brakes for you.

The coin test can help you determine how much tread is remaining


Dying batteries often show symptoms before they give up the ghost. For a quick at-home check, turn on your headlights (without starting the engine) and leave them on for a few minutes. Start the car, and pay attention to the brightness of the lights—if they dim or flicker, your battery may need to be replaced. Keep in mind that your local auto parts store is likely able to check your battery’s charge (often for free).

Car battery with electrodes attached


Inspect your K&N® High-Flow Air Filter™, and be sure to clean it when the dirt exceeds the wire mesh. Since K&N filters are washable and reusable, you can easily clean and re-oil your filter using K&N Recharger® kits. Don't have a K&N air filter yet? Get yours today and see what gearheads everywhere are raving about.

Check to see if the dirt on your K&N filter exceeds the mesh


*This post is for informational purposes only, and we do not warrant that the information provided will produce any specific results or achieve any intended purposes. Every vehicle is different and subject to different road conditions and wear and tear. You should always follow your manufacturer’s recommended service schedule, consult the vehicle owner’s manual, and/or have your vehicle evaluated by a properly trained mechanic.

Modifying your vehicle can affect its safety and road worthiness.  Modifications, including maintenance and cleaning, may void any applicable warranties to a product or vehicle. You are advised to contact the product manufacturer or authorized reseller prior to conducting any repairs, maintenance, or modifications.  The information provided herein is provided is not intended for any particular product or purpose and may not be suitable for all users, vehicles, or products.  K&N will not be responsible for any damage to persons or property, including but not limited to any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, punitive, or exemplary damages arising out of or related to your use of or reliance on the content contained in this post. Please read the applicable instruction prior to use of any K&N or other manufacturers’ product.