If you winterized your car just a couple of months back, undoubtedly, your vehicle is thanking you and serving you well. Continue the Love in February and take some steps to care of your ride with some “Pre-Spring Cleaning” and send it into warmer temps purring like a kitten. The harsh, cold temperatures, rain, snow and ice that gets tracked into your car, salts and road grime; all lead to build up of dirt on your car, engine, and the interior.
“Pre-spring cleaning” at the end of the winter months can help address a lot of the grime build up and reduce the wear and tear that would occur if you wait until late spring or early summer.
Starting with the interior, take care of the following from top to bottom:
- When your interior windows are fogging up during damp spring weather, it is usually due to dirt built up over the winder months. Wash them well with a NON-ammonia based window cleaner since ammonia makes the fogging worse. There are also anti-fogging agents that can be applied after the windows are cleaned
- Your cabin air filter gets the dirtiest in the fall when it is working overtime filtering leaves, dirt, and pollen from entering the cabin-intake system. Replace the filter now so you can enter the spring and summer months breathing clear and clean.
- De-clutter all odds and ends, trash and items that have gradually made their home in your vehicle over these cold months.
- Winter snow and rain on shoes track in a huge amount of dirt that gets ground deep into your carpet and upholstery accelerating wear and tear. Do a deep vacuuming with a high powered shop vac, paying special attention to the cracks and crevices and edges on the floor near the doors where the greatest amount of filth accumulates.
- Take care of your seats now before they have played host to winter dirt for too many months. After a thorough vacuuming, condition leather with a leather conditioner and/or specifically formulated auto upholstery cleaner.
- Moving to the outside, wash your car well, top to bottom also. Take time to get the underbody cleaned at a carwash to dislodge road salt which promotes rusting underneath. Here is a much more exhaustive list of do’s and don’ts for cleaning the outside of your car.
- Pay attention to door and trunk sills that are usually missed during the car wash process. While you are at it lube all hinges with white lithium grease which will avert squeaks and wear.
Outside vehicle and engine servicing in the early spring can reduce wear and tear and address issues that snuck up on you over the winter:
· Change the oil if it is close to being due
· Replenish washer fluid
· Check tire tread and pressure and don’t forget the spare
· Add fuel-system cleaner to the gas tank
· Check your air filter and change if needed
· Check your spark plugs for proper functioning
· Clean the wheels and tires.
Add a bottle of fuel-system cleaner into the gas tank.