Skip to main content

Spring is just over a week away, and the freeze of winter is beginning to thaw in many parts of the country. With better weather comes more confidence on the road. But first, there’s simple yet vital maintenance to address for the new season. SUVs take a winter beating yearly in large parts of the country — they often need some care and recovery once spring arrives. Here are some spring SUV maintenance tips to consider as winter wanes.  

Can cold weather cause problems for cars and SUVs?

A Honda CR-V climbs a hill amid snowy conditions in an urban setting.
Honda CR-V SUV in winter | Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Winter weather can impact the functionality of an SUV in several ways. According to Car and Driver, issues can range from thickening oil to sapped batteries. During winter, doing enough to get through the elements is a priority. SUV spring maintenance is crucial to address any issues fully and prevent cumulative damage later. 

Switch back to summer tires 

Many SUV drivers choose to go through the cold seasons on winter tires – even if their vehicles have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. It’s a smart choice considering the safety benefits. But once temperatures climb above freezing constantly, it’s time to switch from winter tires back to summer tires

That’s because winter tires use specialized rubber compounds for sub-freezing temperatures. While they offer excellent grip and durability in the cold, they can wear down quickly in warmer conditions. Switching to a three-season or summer set can help preserve winter tires for next year. 

Adjust tire pressure 

As temperatures rise, it’s wise to check and adjust tire pressure routinely.

Temperature fluctuations can dramatically affect tire pressure. Typically, warming temperatures increase pressure while cooling temperatures reduce pressure. Too much pressure variation up or down can influence an SUV’s performance or even risk a blowout. Regular pressure checks can help prevent these issues. 

Get a thorough car wash 

Drive through snow and ice? Visit a car wash. 

Snow-afflicted cities do their best to clear roads with snow-melt treatments and salt. But there’s a price to pay for the convenience. These road-clearing measures can have corrosive effects on cars and SUVs. Paint damage and rust are threats to most vehicles that traverse wintry conditions.

 A simple wash can help combat winter corrosion. Once spring arrives, it’s essential to take SUVs and crossovers in for a thorough cleaning. Choosing an undercarriage wash option can be especially helpful in knocking off the salt and winter grime. 

Check or replace the battery 

According to Car and Driver, extreme cold can drain a battery’s lifespan. Months of freezing temperatures take a heavy toll. Conducting a battery check is a smart way to finish winter and look forward to spring, providing extra confidence for road trip season. 

Schedule an inspection appointment 

It’s easier to tell all vehicle issues with a trained eye. A professional inspection is the best way to ensure an SUV or crossover is ready for spring. With the help of a trained mechanic, it’s easier to spot problems and address them before they become serious.