We spring clean our closets, our houses, our yards – so don’t neglect your car! Paying extra attention to your vehicle after the cold winter is especially important. Give it a little TLC by using this list a guide to getting the best out of your ride!
- Shower and shine!
After winter, salt can start to build up and erode the paint and other parts on your car. Washing and waxing can help extend the life and looks of your paint job. Start by using the hose and spraying your vehicle from top to bottom. This gets rid of any dirt of leaves that have accumulated that might scratch your paint while scrubbing.
Wash it like you mean it! Wash everything, including the spokes of your wheels and your license plate covers. Dirt can build up in these smaller nooks. Don’t forget to rinse completely, or leftover soap can build up causing streaks. Dry with a microfiber cloth or a chamois to prevent water marks.
Give your mats a good clean too! They’ve probably accumulated salt and dirt as well. A good hose down with a pressure washer is great to loosen up ground in grime. Hang to dry!
If you wax as well – keeps your paint looking fresh, and gives a protective barrier – always follow the manufacturers instructions. Most brands mention not to apply in direct sunlight. Why? If the surface of your car is too hot, the wax doesn’t bond properly, and can be harder to remove later on. It can also dry to quickly, leaving streaks and an uneven coat.
During the winter we tend to get a little lazy and not clear out our car as much. Travel mugs, extra mittens and shoes can make your car feel cluttered. Take a minute to bring the things you don’t need in your car anymore, into your house, and clean out the trash as well. It’s a great idea to keep a small plastic bag in the door sill to collect your empty coffee cups and wrappers while on the go, and super easy to empty every week or so.
Don’t forget about the glove compartment and the console box if you have one. I know I’m super guilty of shoving gas receipts in there! Try and keep only important info in your glove box – insurance, ownership, dates of your last oil change and service – as well as your emergency roadside assistance number! A flashlight and a map never hurt as well.
- Check those wheels!
If the weather is staying about 7◦ or warmer, then it’s time to take your snow tires off! As the weather gets warmer, the pavement gets hotter. This can lead to the road eating up your winter tires much faster then you want it to.
If it’s not quite warm enough yet, then it’s always a good idea to give them a quick check. Make sure they aren’t worn down and that the tire pressure is correct. Doing so will ensure you get even tire wear, which leads to longer last tires. Believe it or not, it also helps with your fuel economy! Tires that are properly inflated require less energy and force to start moving, which means they use less gas.
- Get the junk out of your trunk!
If you happen to be one of those people that uses their trunk as extra storage, it might be time to reorganize! Take out the hockey bags, the spare winter brushes and anything else that isn’t used everyday.
- Bring your car in for service!
Spring is a great time to perform a quick inspection and general maintenance on your vehicle. If there’s anything that looks off or is concerning you, bring it in for a check up. Spring time is also a great time to get your alignment checked, as potholes and built up snow bumps can throw it off.
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This small guide will help your car look as fresh as the spring air. Roll down those shiny clean windows, and enjoy your drive!