Servicing Your Vehicle During Your Tire Change

There’s no better time to give your vehicle’s key components a look-over than when you’re changing your winter tires. Servicing your vehicle during your tire change is easy because you’re already doing the hard parts: jacking it up and removing the wheels so you can access your brakes and suspension parts.

If your summer tire change matches up with your oil change on the maintenance schedule, then changing your tires while the oil drains can really speed up the process. But even if it doesn’t, there are fluids to check and other inspections you can make.

Note: For instructions on lifting your vehicle safely, see our DIY tire change guide.

Start With the Brakes

While you have your wheels off, it’s time for a brake service. The first thing you want to look for is rust. Excessive rust and split or delaminated brake pads all need to be investigated and repaired.

If your pads and rotors look good, it’s probably time for a caliper service. Once a year, your brake calipers should be removed so you can clean and lubricate the caliper slide pins. These parts can stick and seize, causing expensive failures. See our full guide on How to Replace Brake Pads for a full walk-through.

Don’t Suspend That Suspension Inspection

Inspect all boots and rubber seals on your suspension. The ball joint, tie rod, and CV-joint boots should be intact. If you see tears or signs of leaking fluid, it’s time to replace the part. Your NAPA auto parts specialist can get you the parts you need.

This is also a good time to check for wear or “play” in those joints, which will show that it’s time for replacement parts. Suspension components sometimes only show that play under load, or with heavy forces, so check again for movement once the wheel is back on. See this guide for more.

Newer vehicles have permanently sealed joints. They don’t need to be—and usually can’t be—lubricated. If you have an older vehicle, ball joints and other moving parts probably have a grease fitting. Make sure to give each one some grease as part of your service to help make your parts last longer and function better.

Cabin and Engine Filter Changes Are Due

Depending on your maintenance schedule, this is a great time for some filter changes, too. Winter driving means salt and sand in the air, and both clog up your air filters. Change your cabin air filter and engine air filter in the spring to make sure you’re getting the freshest air you can all summer.

While you’re at it, check your fluids. You’re already working on your car or truck, so now’s the time. The levels of your brake fluid, transmission fluid, and engine oil should all be inspected, along with coolant.

Fill Up Your Car’s Vital Fluids

Fill your windshield washer fluid reservoir. If you’re putting on your winter tires, it’s time for a winter washer fluid. One that won’t freeze up when the temperature drops. In spring, a summer-type fluid works better for removing insects, tar, and other road debris.

While you’re under the hood, check your battery terminals. Corrosion can build up over time, leading to a bad connection and a vehicle that won’t start. A quick cleaning now helps prevent getting stranded later.

Servicing your vehicle while you do your seasonal tire change is the proverbial two birds with one stone. You get two jobs out of the way in less time than doing them separately, and you can be confident in the performance of your vehicle until the end of the season.

NAPA Windshield Washer Fluid, 3.78L

5.29 $ 4.09 $

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Turbo Power Summer Windshield Washer Fluid, 3.78L

4.19 $

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