The seasons are changing. Soon, the weather will be fair enough to hike the Saunders-Monticello Trail near Charlottesville, go wine-tasting at Old House Vineyards in Culpeper, and take that tour of the National Military Park in Fredericksburg you've had on your bucket list. So, it's time to get your new Subaru ready for adventure. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, there's some important spring car care that you can manage yourself, if you like. What's necessary depends primarily on your mileage and the kind of driving you do, to be sure, but there are a few steps you can take to make your car or SUV road-ready for the warmer months.

  • Change your engine's oil and oil filter. As your engine runs, it accumulates pollutants, byproducts of operation. Motor oil removes them, and filters catch them. Flush and replace the fluid regularly for optimal functioning, and swap filters that are highly discolored or clogged. If you notice oil spots or a slick after pulling out of a parking space, however, look around for a crack or leak and patch it up.
  • Check your power steering, brake, transmission, windshield washer, and coolant fluids. If your levels are low, top them off, or flush and replace them as suggested by your owner’s manual. Note, however, that systems like power steering, brakes, and coolant are closed, so level lows may mean a leak somewhere, and you'll want to find and repair it.
  • Fix any windshield issues. Chips and cracks in the glass can negatively affect everything from your airbags and seatbelts to roof stability during an accident, let along clarity of view. Repair or replace yours as necessary immediately.
  • Replace your windshield wiper blades. Are yours torn, cracked, or streaking, or do they squeak loudly during use? Change them as soon as possible. It can mean the difference between visibility when you need it, and otherwise.
  • Check your battery and electrical system. A car's power source can run down or quit every four to six years without much warning. Test your voltage, and if needed, swap out the old for the new. Of course, other electrical issues can present, and although they could be anything from a blown fuse to a bulb outage, more significant problems can crop up where they're toughest to find.
  • Check your interior and exterior lighting. If your lighting is out, especially something like a brake light, you won't be able to signal other drivers that you're stopping or turning, for one. Check bulbs for debris, yellowing, or just plain non-functionality and clean and replace them as needed, whether in-cabin or outside.
  • Lubricate your chassis parts, in some cases. Though a lot of new cars and SUVs like those of Subaru have internal components that don't ever need it, some still require it regularly. That's especially true for replacement parts. Check your owner’s manual for details.
  • Check all belts and hoses. The cold can cause hardening, softening, leaks, cracks, blisters, fraying, or glazing, and a visual check should indicate replacement needs. Be aware: if you change one, you may also have to replace others. Your timing belt's a good example. It helps keep your camshaft, the timing gears on your crankshaft, and your water pump working together, and its failure can cause stalls or even mechanical damage. If your start-ups sound strange, you have mileage near 60,000, or between 60,000 and 105,000, or you're due for maintenance, remove your timing belt's inspection cover and check it out. If it's missing teeth or broken, replace it in short order.
  • Check your tires. Treads wear, balance problems happen over time, rubber tears, penny tests fail, pressures plummet, and everything from damage to flats can occur in a long enough time frame. See any of the former? It might be high time for a replacement. Take note of the right tires for your brand and model, summer or winter, specialty run-flat or low-rolling-resistance, all-season or performance, or another type. Then, be sure to have a new set installed, balanced, and eventually rotated. It'll extend their lives in the process.

Of course, if you'd prefer an auto service department like ours here in Orange, VA to handle everything for you, we'll be more than happy. Bring your vehicle to our expert car repair technicians at 249 Madison Road to get a full inspection, for starters, and we'll diagnose and take care of any problems that arise. Plus, as we get our maintenance work done using only genuine Subaru auto parts and accessories, you can rest assured it'll be quality-assured.

Want to make a service appointment? Just use our convenient online scheduling tool, and if you have any questions or concerns, or you'd just like to talk shop on auto repair, feel free to give us a call. We look forward to helping you get back on the road in no time!