"As many of us are getting back behind the wheel more regularly, we need our vehicles to run smoothly and safely so we can focus on the road ahead," Daniel Brown, senior technical services specialist at Hankook, said.
"That's why Hankook Tire encourages drivers to add routine maintenance to their spring-cleaning rituals. A well-running vehicle will help many of us recapture a sense of freedom and adventure."
According to the Gauge Index, two-thirds of Americans are now driving at least a few times per week, compared with just 31% in April 2020, a trend that lends more urgency to Hankook's cautions, especially as the weather improves and more people get vaccinated.
The survey results are based on responses from 2,732 randomly selected Americans age 18 and over who have a valid U.S. driver's license, Hankook said.
Bearing the survey results in mind, Hankook is offering consumers a series of vehicle maintenance tips:
Check the tires: Because tire pressure can change significantly as the outside temperature fluctuates, it's important to check the tire pressure at least once a month to ensure it meets your vehicle's recommended PSI. Low tire pressure can lead to poor performance, premature and irregular wear, and higher rolling resistance which can impact fuel efficiency. Insufficient tread depth can impact the vehicle's handling and lead to hydroplaning, a flat or blow-out.
Spring cleaning: A clean car does more than just shine: in colder climates, it's important to wash off damaging chemicals like road salt that can corrode the critical components underneath your vehicle and dull the vehicle's paint coat. Interior cleaning can keep debris from getting into certain components such as seat adjustment mechanisms, floor vents and window switches.
Under the hood: Check that all fluids, such as oil, washer fluid and coolant, are at the proper levels and that all lights are in working order.
Weekly shake-outs: Taking a vehicle out for a weekly drive helps keep the battery charged, fluids circulated and prevents tires from flat-spotting on the driveway. This is also a good opportunity to spot any mechanical issues that may need further professional attention.
Prepare for potholes: After a long winter of steady snow, ice and rain, springtime thawing of the roads can create substantial potholes. The correct driving technique can help prevent damage when encountering potholes. If a pothole impact is inevitable, don't swerve, but instead safely decrease your speed, take it head-on and slowly roll over the pothole.