It’s this time of year we all look forward to. Winter is drawing to a close, days are getting longer, and better weather is just ahead, yes spring is coming! So, we are ready but how about our cars? Most people don’t feel like washing or working on their cars during the colder months and as a result our cars get neglected. Here are my top tips to get your motor in tip top condition for spring and summer.
Clean Your Car With A Pressure Washer
Give the bodywork a thorough rinse, pay attention to wheel arches and check bonnet and boot shut lines for leaves and debris as these can block drainage holes/ channels. If your pressure washer has a under chassis adaptor jet, use it. Jet wash the underside of your car to remove that corrosive road salt. Use snow foam and a good quality shampoo in a bucket of warm water and a microfiber mitt. Use a filter grate in your bucket to catch grit and keep it at the bottom of your bucket. Rinse the shampoo off and don’t forget to clean your wheels with a suitable alloy wheel cleaner. Use a large microfiber drying towel to dry your vehicle.
How To Remove Scratches
At this point you may see some hairline scratches on your paintwork. Use a quality polish or scratch remover to target these areas. Use a wax with carnauba to protect the entire body. This will help repel rain and dirt and keep your car cleaner for longer.
Check Your Tyres
Whilst you are admiring your clean motor, take this opportunity to inspect your tyres and brakes. Check the tyre pressures, tread depth, look out for small stones or gravel stuck in between the tread and check to see if there are any hairline cracks in the tyre side walls. Also look at your brake pads and ensure there is plenty of ‘meat’ left on them. Finally check the condition of your spare wheel and tyre.
Check Under Your Bonnet
This is a good time to check all your fluids. Check your engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, automatic transmission fluid, coolant and top up if needed. Don’t forget to add fresh screen wash to your washer bottle reservoir. Check the condition of your air filter and replace if clogged. If your car is equipped with a high performance reusable air filter, check it and clean if necessary. Whist you are there look at the condition of your battery, if the terminals are corroded this is a good time to replace your battery. Finally, check the condition of all the rubber hoses and belts. If you have a modern diesel, make sure your ‘AdBlue’ tank is topped up.
Best Way To Clean Glass and Mirrors
Use a quality glass cleaner and microfiber cloth to clean all your exterior glass including your wing mirrors. Don’t forget to check and clean your wiper blades, if they look worn out replace them. Winter is especially harsh on rubber.
How To Clean Headlights
Winter is hard on your exterior light bulbs. Check they are all working and replace any blown ones. Also look at the condition of your headlamps. Cloudy headlamps could result in an MOT failure and of course reduce the amount of light that reaches the road affecting visibility. There are plenty of kits available to restore the clarity of your headlamps.
Keeping Your Interior Clean
Winter is hard on your car’s interior. Vacuum all carpets and mats including those in your boot. If you have rubber mats simply take them out, scrub with soapy water and hose them down and leave in the sun to dry. Use a carpet/ upholstery shampoo and a soft upholstery brush to clean cloth seats and fabric mats. If you have a leather interior, clean the leather with a suitable leather cleaner then apply some leather cream with UV protection to feed and protect the leather during the summer months. Don’t forget to clean all the interior glass (including your rear-view mirror and sunroof glass) with glass cleaner and a clean microfiber cloth. Finally, make sure your First Aid Kit is in place and up to date.
So that is it! Your car is roadworthy, gleaming from the outside, your glass is crystal clear giving you perfect visibility and your car’s interior is smelling fresh and is a pleasant place to be. So, go for a drive and enjoy Spring! Happy motoring.
All content and images credied to Kiran Parmar.