Spring is in the air, snow is melting, the grass is growing and it’s time for some good old fashioned spring cleaning. Your home and yard aren’t the only things that are going to need your attention this season, your car or truck needs a little TLC before the temperatures begin to rise.
Remove Trash and Other Items
Start by cleaning out any trash that may have accumulated during the cold winter months and collect anything else that may not belong. If you have young children, remove the car seats from the back and give them a good wash.
Wipe Down Hard Surfaces
Wipe down hard surfaces, with a damp cloth or your favorite interior cleaner. Most self-services car washes even sell wipes and sponges that can clean the surfaces and protect them from deteriorating under the sun’s UV-rays.
Vacuum Seats and Floors
Vacuum to the seats and floors. If you have mats in your car pull them out and give them a good shake and hang them out to dry. In the winter a lot of moisture and salt can be tracked in and if your floor mats are doing their job, but they’ve taken a beating all winter. Don’t forget to clean out the trunk or truck bed as well.
Wash and Wax
When winter is over and it’s time to clean the exterior, it’s important to wash the undercarriage of your car in addition to the rest of it. Salt on the roads can collect up and cause rust, which will affect your vehicle’s performance over time.
The windows and exterior mirrors might have a layer of dust impairing your view. Be sure to clean them so you can see clearly when you drive.
Replace wiper blades once a year and spring is the best time to do it. Your wiper blades went through some tough times during the winter pushing snow, salt and freezing rain particles out of your way.
A tire check is one of the most important safety precautions you can take. Use a tire gauge to check the pressure on all four tires. Your owner’s manual will tell you what the PSI should be in each tire. Check the treads to see if they need to be replaced. You can do this with the quarter trick. Just hold a quarter with the head facing you and upside down, and put it between the treads of the tires. If you can see the top of Washington’s head, the treads are worn and need to be replaced. Experts recommend replacing the rear tires first and have the rear tires moved to the front. The deeper treads on the rear axles will help maintain control on wet roads to prevent hydroplaning.
Under the Hood
It is important to check your fluid levels regularly. A good mechanic will check your fluid levels for you and top them off, which will likely last until the next oil change. If you’re the type of person who likes to get under the hood, you can find all of the information about your vehicle’s fluid containers and levels in your owner’s manual. There’s a good chance that your wiper fluid will need to be refilled more often than your oil needs changed, try to find one that repels water for maximum visibility in the rain.
Belts and Hoses
Make sure that belts and hoses aren’t broken. To check the belts, gently pull on them to see if they come loose. If it does, then it needs to be replaced. When your vehicle is warm, gently squeeze on the belts. If they feel too soft then it may be time for a replacement hose. If this all sounds a bit daunting then you can always make an appointment with your local garage and have the professionals take a look.
Battery and Spark Plugs
Check to see if a battery needs to be replaced at an auto-parts stores, they can hook it up to find out the charge. This needs to be done especially if the battery is at least 4 years old. Have your mechanic check your spark plugs to see if they are worn out.
Add these steps to your spring cleaning routine to help your vehicle stay strong through many more winters to come.