Last updated on April 3rd, 2018 at 02:03 pm
April is National Car Care Month (according to the Car Care Council) and it’s the perfect time to spring clean your car.
Why? Because winter is (supposed to be) officially over and after months of wear and tear on your car, it’s time to show your ride some love.
From the inside out, here are some simple things you can do to get your car in shape for the spring:
Purge. Nothing says a “fresh start” to spring like purging your car of unneeded items. Remove anything you no longer need in your car. That ice scraper on the backseat? Store it in the garage. That second wardrobe of scarves, gloves, hats and other clothing you’ve accumulated throughout the winter? Pack them away. They’re with the rest of just a painful reminder of months past.
Vacuum your interior. Starting from the top and working your way down, vacuum all interior surfaces. Don’t forget to get underneath your floot mats – you’d be surprised by where dirt and salt can settle.
Spend time on your floor mats. Throughout the winter months, you’ve probably tracked all sorts of muck into your car, so give your floormats a good wash. If you have rubber mats, great. They won’t take long to clean. If they’re carpet, it’s worth taking a power-wash to them at least twice. If you don’t have a power-washer, consider using one at the self-service station at a local car wash.
Scrub the surfaces. Leather or cloth, it’s worth wiping down your seats. And while you’re at it, give the dashboard and the surface behind the backseat (if you’re in a sedan) a good wipe down.
…and the exterior. By winter’s end, your car might be hiding under a blanket of dirt and salt. Whether you go the old soap in a bucket route or opt for a professional cleaning, the exterior of your car needs as much attention as the interior. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean your headlights, tail lights and mirrors.
Replace your wipers. Your wipers work hard throughout the winter. If the blades are worn, it might be worth investing in a new set. While you’re at it, be sure to check the wiper fluid.
Check your tires. If you live in an area that suffers from long and snowy winters, you may have winter tires. Before it gets too warm, switch out the heavy duty tires for your all-season set since the former aren’t meant for hot temperatures – you’ll get more use out of them next winter that way. Be sure to give them a good scrub before storing.
Pro tip: You can check the tread by placing a penny between the tire’s rifts. If you can see the top of Honest Abe’s head, it might be time for a new set of tires.
It’s a good idea to schedule a routine tune-up with standard maintenance checks, including:
- All fluids, including the engine oil, antifreeze/coolant, power steering, brake and transmission
- Hoses and belts – make sure they’re in good shape
- Brake system – these should be inspected by a professional during a standard oil change
- Exhaust system – make sure there are no leaks
- Heating, ventilating and AC system
- Steering and suspension system
This year, spring into action and get your car running at peak performance. That way, you can enjoy the season with the full confidence that your car will get you to where you need to be.