Spring Cleaning For Your Car

Car WashDid someone write “Wash Me” in the dirt on your back window? Does the inside of your car look more like a college dorm room? It could be time for some spring cleaning—for your car.

You winterized your car and made it through the harsh winter. Now it’s time to, um… spring-ize it! The road salt, sand, and freezing and thawing have taken a toll on your vehicle. And, the cold weather prevented you from keeping your car looking showroom-new. Follow these tips to make sure your car sparkles as the sunny spring days approach.

Give It A Bath

It is your baby, after all. A car that is routinely washed and waxed can add years to the life of the paint and body. To make sure you’re making the most of your one-on-one time with your car, you should:

  • Spray the wheel wells and undercarriage to remove salt buildup.
  • Be sure to use soap made specifically for cars.
  • Don’t wash or wax the car in direct sunlight.
  • Dry the car with a soft, natural-fiber cloth. That sandpaper hotel towel won’t cut it.
  • Don’t forget to clean the doorjambs. A shiny exterior will soon be forgotten when you open the door to a layer of salt and dirt inside the door.
  • Clean the windows (inside and out) with a glass cleaner and lint-free cloth.

Make The Interior Habitable Again

Hanging a pine tree air freshener from the rear view mirror won’t cut it. A clean, cared for interior will help maintain your car’s value, and make the ride more pleasant for your passengers. Here are the basics:

  • Vacuum! Take the floor mats out and move the seats forward and back to reach under the seats. Don’t forget the trunk or rear cargo area.
  • Use cleaners specific to the type of surface in your car—upholstery, leather, plastic, etc. Any auto parts store will carry these, but many times a household cleaner will work just fine.
  • A can of compressed air will help get the dust from the small crevices around the center console, shifter and vents.

Maintain The Moving Parts

It’s also a great time to do some minor routine maintenance to get your car ready for a summer road trip.

  • Check your fluids. When the engine is cool, check your oil, coolant and other fluids. If your car’s service manual recommends specific mileage service, see your mechanic.
  • Fill the washer fluid.
  • Get ready for April showers by checking and replacing your wiper blades if needed.
  • Check your tires. Switch from winter treads or get your all-seasons rotated.

If you aren’t car-savvy, you can always get your car inspected by a professional. Otherwise, get ready to open the sunroof, roll down the windows, and enjoy the looks of passing motorists admiring your shiny car.

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  1. Four wheeling fun. says

    Great ideas for what to have in a emergency. Also, washing your car is also a good idea. Be careful when using glass cleaner on window tints. Many of those solvents damage the tints and they become more of a problem than a sun blocker. Last tip. Check your spare tire. Most people forget to do that because it is out of site, yet a flat tire is probably one of the most common emergency. If you can’t change a tire, someone may be able to help you but you need to have a good inflated spare. ?