The Car Care Council is encouraging all drivers to get regular vehicle maintenance done during April, National Car Care Month.
“Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional service technician, National Car Care Month in April is the perfect time to focus on your vehicle’s maintenance needs to make sure it is ready for the upcoming spring and summer travel season,” Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council, said in a news release.
Many individual events are being held around the country, and some auto shops are offering maintenance specials for the month.
The council found based on inspections from car care events held last year that 84% of the vehicles needed service or parts, an increase of 5% from the year before.
A full 13% of cars even had their check engine lights on.
White said that many drivers put off maintenance when money is tight, but that’s actually the worst financial decision to make — especially considering that cars are generally among the highest-value investments people make, after houses. “Neglected vehicle care almost always means much higher costs down the line in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value,” he explained. “These results [from our surveys] show that the majority of vehicle owners could save money by being proactive in the maintenance of their second largest investment.”
The Car Care Council is encouraging drivers to get a tune-up for better efficiency and lower emissions, and has also released a list of nine additional concerns drivers should get checked at their local auto repair shops this spring: fluids, hoses and belts, batteries, brake systems, exhaust systems, HVAC systems, steering and suspension systems, tires, and wipers and exterior lighting.
And, as a list of spring car care tips released by AAA reminded drivers, there’s always room for some old-fashioned spring cleaning, too. AAA recommends using a hand vacuum to remove salt, sand and debris from interior mats and carpeting, as they can cause permanent damage if left too long.