Every fall, there’s a lot of buzz about winterizing your car. What nobody really talks about, though, is what to do AFTER the winter. This process, which is basically the reverse, is what I like to call “summerizing” your car. First off, you have your basic maintenance items.

In some cases, the manufacturer of your car may have specified a different oil viscosity for winter driving. As such, now is the time to change that oil again back to the summer specification and install a new filter. Also on the basic maintenance list, you’re going to want to check overall condition of belts and hoses. They may have been OK going into winter, but the heat and cold cycling that accompanies a hot engine in the winter can age these items more rapidly. Change them as necessary. Also, check your antifreeze level and concentration. Chances are, you’re running a standard year-round 50/50 mix, so you won’t need to adjust concentration.

When you prepped for the winter, you may have changed your wiper blades. Well, check them again, as the weather and road salt no doubt doled out a beating. Change those blades if you need to, but bare minimum, clean them with a damp rag. Also, check your washer fluid level. If you used special fluid for the winter, you can now top if off with the cheaper, standard stuff.

Next, check the condition of your battery. If you can’t do it on your own, your local auto parts store will likely check it for free. Replace the battery if necessary, but bare minimum, clean the cables and terminals with a wire brush.

After that, you’re going to want to give the car a good wash and wax. Winter salt and sand no doubt made a mess of things. Use a quality wax, and when washing, pay attention to the underside of the car. Even if you’ve been washing throughout the winter, it’s still a good idea to give this extra attention now.

If you’re in an area that gets a lot of snow, chances are you mounted snow tires back in the early fall. Now is a good time to mark them with chalk as to their position on the car (so you can rotate them when you remount them next winter), and swap them back out for your summer tires or all-seasons.

Last but not least, if your car is so equipped, check and confirm function of your air conditioner. If it needs to be serviced, you still have some time before the weather gets unbearably hot.

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