Prepare your vehicle for warmer weather

Spring is here, which of course means spring cleaning. But spring cleaning is not, and should not be, limited to your home.

When winter came around, you prepared your car for the colder weather. Now that warmer weather is right around the corner, it’s time again to get your car ready for the change. For example, your winter tires, those used specifically for driving in snow and mud, should be replaced. Spring and summer require tires that are made of harder rubber. Many vehicle owners have two sets of tires, and they either hire someone to change them out or do it themselves.

But changing tires is not as simple a task as it may seem and should be just one of many facets to consider when preparing your vehicles for the transition from winter weather to the spring and summer seasons.

Auto skills centers operated by military bases around the KMC offer tools, hydraulic lifts and expertise from qualified employees to help make the experience a positive one.

Photo by LeManna/

With regard to tires, it is responsible thinking for vehicle owners to at least broach the subject of tread wear. Most people with knowledge of auto repair and maintenance are in agreement that braking is the main saboteur of tire tread.


If a vehicle’s tires have low tread, there could be criminal charges brought when that person is involved, at fault or not, in a collision or event that is injurious to another person.

Vehicle owners should conduct a full inspection of lighting, including turn signals, brake lights, high and low beam bulbs, and head and tail lights. These inspections are easy for individuals to do themselves and should be completed at least four to five times a year.

Air conditioning got more use last summer than was normal for this region, and the somewhat light winter we’ve had this year could be an indication of more high temperatures in the coming months. To prepare for this, the entire air conditioning and heating mechanism should be checked for deficiencies. If needed, vehicles can receive air conditioning recharges with new Freon or other chemical mixtures added. Also, auto coolant or antifreeze will drain from a vehicle faster if the air conditioner is running more, so all of the various fluids should be checked and topped off or refilled at this time of year.

With the safety of military members always at the forefront of ownership and operation of personal owned vehicles, German police and U.S. military vehicular patrol units make it their business to routinely check that tires, rims and other areas of the vehicle meet the proper specifications.

U.S. drivers in Germany should be aware that cars, trucks, and vans here are accustomed to being driven at high speeds and most are manufactured to handle it. Domestic vehicles from the U.S., however, are often not manufactured with these European variables in mind, and they in turn take a beating from drivers who push them past their usual limits.

In short, know your car and know its limits. Each season’s turn is an opportunity to do a complete checkup and perform routine maintenance as well as to make any changes to your vehicle that will enhance its performance. The best drivers will often prove to be the smartest drivers, and smart drivers take the time to make sure their car is up-to-date and well maintained.