Car Spring Cleaning Tips
During the dark and dreary days of winter, inclement weather undoes any attempt at maintenance. The last thing you think about is your vehicle. But now that the fairer days of spring have arrived, your car has a chance to shine during the longer daylight hours and sunnier weather. It’s time to put your vehicle through a bit of spring cleaning.
Start with the interior.
Begin by removing all the junk that has accumulated during the cold months: bags, cups, scarves, hats, and children’s toys. Check both the interior and the trunk.
While you’re at it, you can also remove the emergency kit that you prepared for winter, which included such essentials as an ice scraper and a bag of sand for traction. You can store this in a safe place of your garage to pack into your vehicle come next winter. If you want to leave anything in your vehicle for the warmer months, such as extra food and water, organize them using the cabin storage areas.
With a brush made of soft bristles, brush off any dirt and grime that has gathered in the nooks and crannies of your dashboard, door panels, upholstery, and floor mats. You may find an old toothbrush handy for dislodging stubborn debris. Finally, give the interior a good vacuuming to eliminate the remaining dirt.
Inspect the tires.
Spring cleaning also involves essential maintenance. Remove tire chains and store them in your garage so that they don’t take up room in your trunk. If you opted for winter tires, change them to all-season tires.
If you stuck with the same tires all season, inspect them for any damage or and to ensure that the treads have appropriate depth. You can put a penny into a groove into a tread head down into a tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you need to replace your tires.
Rotate your tires as needed and check the air pressure. You’ll find the recommended pounds per square inch on the sticker inside the driver’s door or in the owners manual. Fill the tires to this correct pressure when needed.
Clean the exterior.
The exterior of your vehicle will not only have attracted dirt and grime from exterior weather and the natural environment but it will also have been encrusted with road salts and other chemicals used to melt away ice and snow. The substances can damage the finish and sensitive components in the underbody.
You can eliminate potential problems and make your car look good by giving the exterior a good wash. Hand-washing is the gentlest option. Use a soft wash sponge and soap that is specially formulated for your car. Avoid using common household or dish soap. Don’t forget to clean the underside, which is where road salts and chemicals tend to accumulate.
Rely on a microfiber cloth to dry the exterior and avoid leaving towel streaks. You can finish off the last few water drops by using a leaf blower or a rubber squeegee. Allowing water to dry off on the surface can leave spots.
If you want to protect the finish, wax the exterior, which will also encourage water to bead off the finish.
Check essential fluids.
Open the hood to check essential fluids. If you don’t know where the compartments are located, look in your owners manual.
Start with the engine, which generally requires changing every 3,000 to 7,500 miles. Then inspect the coolant, which will prevent your engine from overheating during the warmer months. Do not open the radiator, which may be extremely hot after the engine has been running for a while. Instead, look for the clear overflow plastic container that may be near the radiator.
Other liquids to check include the power steering fluid, which may be in a small tank at the base of the windshield, brake fluid in a clear reservoir, and windshield washer fluid, which should always be kept full.
If any of these compartments are draining faster than you think they should, you may have a leak. Make a note of this for when you bring your car in.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of checking your tires and fluids, or performing other essential maintenance, take it to our service department at Community Motors. Our factory-trained and certified automotive techs can take care of the essentials quickly and efficiently using only manufacturer-vetted components. Give us a call today.