Spring is here and summer's fast approaching. As temperatures rise and the rain subsides for sunnier days, you car will face a different set of challenges on both road and track.
Below, we list seven key changes you should make to your car to make sure it's in tip-top condition this spring.
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Switch from winter to summer tyres
As the snow and salt disappears from Britain’s B-roads, it makes sense to remove winter tyres fitted to your wheels. By leaving them on in warmer weather, the softer tread blocks will wear down quicker on dry tarmac and softer sidewalls will introduce more roll through corners.
Switch to a great-performing all-weather tyre such as the Continental ContiSportContact 5 or Pirelli P Zero (top two finishers in our evo summer tyre test) to improve your car’s responsiveness and stability. Don’t forget to check that both your tyre tread depths and pressures meet the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Get your wheels aligned
Potholes caused by freezing winter conditions are the enemy of suspension setups. A four-wheel alignment will correct a wayward car’s tramlining and make your car easier to place on the road if it pulls to one side.
A properly aligned car will also handle substantially better on the limit, making wheel-alignment a cost effective way to sharpen handling.
Check fluids and belts
Simple, but highly effective in ensuring your car remains reliable, make sure oil, brake fluid, coolant and screenwash are all topped-up. If you’re venturing on track, we’d recommend changing your oil and brake fluid to minimise engine wear and the chances of brake-fade.
Keep an eye out for worn or squeaking belts, and replace them or the pulleys as necessary. Normally manufacturers will provide you with service intervals for these parts, but be aware that constant hard driving might mean that belt change intervals should be shortened.
Change your wiper blades
Wipers take a beating through winter for clearing grime, salt and road film from your screen. Spring is usually a good time to swap them over for new blades to enjoy clearer vision and protect your windscreen from scratches and wear.
Clean your car – inside and out
Make sure to wash out the salt and grit from the car’s wheel arches and crevices to maintain its underbelly, as well as its paintwork. It’s likely the interior will be looking dirty after the winter months, a quick vacuum won’t hurt performance and might contribute a few grams to any weight saving. Empty crisp packets floating around your interior will not improve your trail-braking technique either…
Have your air-con system checked
While this might not appear very evo – air-con can suck precious bhp from your engine when in full use – a fully working air-con system is essential if you want to avoid arriving at your destination in a sweaty mess.
It’ll be useful on track too, as demonstrated by closed-cockpit GT racing cars, which have to be fitted with air-conditioning in many global championships. Though it might add a few kilos the car’s overall weight, a fresh driver will no doubt be better prepared push to the limit than a hot, dehydrated one.
Buy a set of quality sunglasses
The awkward angles brought on by low winter sun may have encouraged you to get a pair of sunglasses already. If not, now’s the time to buy a set that will protect your eyes from glaring UV rays.