Spring preparation for drivers education

In many homes, March madness is associated with college basketball. In others it can also be associated with warming (garage) temperatures and the first drivers education events of the year. If you're planning on attending drivers ed events, early March is a good time to get some basic maintenance taken care of.

You want to focus on anything that might influence the enjoyment of your track time. Here's a list of items to consider:

* Replace the following:             

Fan and a/c belts
Fuel filter
Oil and filter
Spark plugs
* Bleed brakes
* Check the following:

Air filter - dirty?
Antifreeze - last time replaced?      
Ball joints - loose or rubber cracking?
Brake hoses and calipers - rubber cracking? Leaks?
Brake pads - sufficient pad depth to start drivers ed?
CV joints - clicking sound when in motion? rubber boots cracking?
Distributor cap and rotor - cracks, carbon tracking, metal pitting?
Fire extinguisher - fully charged?
Oil hoses and oil lines - hoses cracking or leaking? On 911's, move the engine-to-oil tank hose around to see if cracks are developing.
Oil return pipes - oil leaking?
Radiator hoses - hoses flexible and no cracking? Hose ends tight with no leaking?
Seat mounting - any looseness in the tracks?
Struts/Shocks - fluid leaking?
Springs on your fuel injection system - snappy return?
Tires - tread depth and sidewall rubber condition (any cracking?)
Tie rod ends - loose or rubber cracking?
Transmission fluid - last time replaced?
Vacuum hoses - hoses cracking?
Wheel bearings - loose?
Windshield wipers - dry/cracked rubber? Full motion?

Checking includes a visual inspection, checking the working condition, and, where applicable, checking bolt torques - cv joints come to mind.  If I didn't do it in the fall, I'll run a bottle of Techron through the gas, to clean up some of the deposits that our gasoline with MTBE leaves behind. If you're not familiar with it, Techron Fuel System Cleaner, made by Chevron, is a Porsche-approved gas additive to clean out the fuel intake and valve areas of the engine.  The larger 20 oz. bottle treats 20 gallons.

If you have any questions, I can be reached at sansho@rennlist.com.