Winter Maintenance: Your Corvette's Off Season
Winter might have finally set in, but driving weather will be back before we know it! To ensure that your Corvette is ready, Mid America Motorworks has put together some tips to plan ahead for Spring driving.
Today - Check Now
There are some tasks you can take care of right now, while your Corvette is off the roads, to keep all systems functioning properly the next time you hit the asphalt.
- Oil Change – Summer heat plays havoc on the condition of your oil. Start off with an oil change to remove debris and contaminants, and prolong your Corvette engine's life.
- Battery Evaluation – Cold Winters and hot Summers are hard on your battery! A battery analyzer will check the condition of your battery. A "test and charge" battery maintainer will keep a charge and check the battery's condition. Whatever you choose, now is the time to implement a plan for battery maintenance. World Class Certified GM Technician, Paul Koerner reviews battery maintenance in this video.
- Antifreeze Check – Antifreeze isn't just a Winter necessity. The same agent that protects your coolant from freezing in the plummeting temps of Winter also keeps your engine cool on hot Summer days. Take care of your antifreeze with a flush/fill to flush all the old coolant out and replace it with new antifreeze.
- Tire Condition – Keep an eye on tire pressure while your Corvette is in storage for the Winter. The fluctuating temps that hit this time of year can greatly affect your tire pressure. Also check for tire wear. If your tires need to be replaced, now is the time to make the switch and avoid traction loss on wet Spring roads.
- Belts & Hoses Upkeep – As rubber has a tendency to crack and wear, your belts and hoses may be past their intended useful life. Replace old belts and hoses now, during your Corvette's down time, to ensure that you don't run into problems on the road.
- Fluid Levels – Top off your fluids, from Power Steering to Windshield Washer Fluid, Brake Fluid, Clutch Fluid and Antifreeze. Not only will it keep low fluid levels from freezing and cracking the lines, it's one less thing you'll have to check when you're ready to get behind the wheel.
- Brake Maintenance – Check the entire brake system to ensure that everything is ready for the next cruise. Check the brake pads and rotors for wear. Now is the time to replace unsafe brakes or consider upgrading to a high performance brake system.
Next Week - Plan Now
If you're like the crew at Mid America Motorworks, you'll be looking for any excuse to get into the garage over the next few months! Here are some Spring-prep tips that will help you stay connected with your Corvette and get you ready to cruise.
- Windshield Wiper Inspection – Low temps can cause the rubber on your wipers to lose contact with your windshield, making them ineffective. Start planning which blades you want for those wet Spring days.
- Spark Plug Tune-up – Even the newer generation Corvettes can benefit from replacing spark plugs and wires. Consider upgrading to higher quality, performance plugs and wires for a little more get-up when it's time to go.
- Check Engine Light – Diagnose that Check Engine light sooner than later. When the light is on, your Corvette defaults to basic programming, or "limp mode." This is designed to get your car back home, not to keep driving to Club meets, shows and Corvette trips. Make the necessary repairs to turn the light off, so your Corvette can operate on its optimum computer programming.
- Leaks – Now is a great time to check for any leaks you're suspicious of. Since your Corvette isn't going anywhere, you should be able to pinpoint any issues and repair leaks as necessary.
- Suspension – Check for vehicle rolls, sways and dives during braking, or squatting during acceleration. If your suspension is jumpy, a shock replacement may be in your future. Choose OE or upgrade to aftermarket shocks for better handling.
- Air Filter Replacement – Checking or replacing an air filter is an easy task if you have an OE engine air filter. If you have an aftermarket cold air intake, you should use the cleaner that's recommended for your brand of intake. This will ensure that your Corvette can breathe deep on that first drive of the season.
Next Month – Schedule Now
While projects may not be necessary before Spring driving, they can definitely improve your cruising experience when the seasons change.
- Car Wash – Typically, washing isn't something we volunteer for during the Winter months. However, waterless washes are now available that keep you inside the garage and give your Corvette the clean, shine you love, all without water.
- Air Conditioning – Make sure your AC is ready when you need it! This is a great time to test and repair your air conditioning system, whether it's a simple belt replacement or something worse. Getting a diagnosis and a plan for repairs is much more comfortable now than when the temps hit triple digits.
- Interior Updates – Beyond a thorough vacuum and leather cleaning, plan for some interior additions to utilize your Corvette's limited space. Travel bags, glove box organizers, trunk and cargo organizers and more can make the next road trip even more enjoyable. Looking for something with more impact? This is also a great time for an interior restoration.
- Light Bulbs – Replace all the burned out light bulbs in your Corvette, including the less-obvious places like your glove box, under the hood or the license plate. Replace sets, even if only 1 is burned out, to ensure they last the same amount of time.
- Cabin Filter – Breathe the cleanest air possible in your Corvette this year by replacing cowl vent filters and cabin air filters.
With careful planning, you can fill your Winter calendar with projects to help you enjoy America's Sports Car until it's time to get behind the wheel this Spring.