TIME TO SPRING CLEAN YOUR CAR
It is spring and the days are growing longer and warmer and after the long winter months, everything could use a spring clean – including your car! Here are six simple things you can do to clean up your vehicle.
Wash and Wax
A good, thorough wash and wax is probably the most important thing you can do with your car right now. Your vehicle is probably covered in dirt, grime and salt. Allowing dirt and grime to remain can affect the paint and finish, while salt can lead to rust and other serious problems.
Clean the Inside
Spring is the perfect time to clean your car's interior, remove and throw away all trash and other items that have accrued over the winter and pack away your snow brush. Vacuum the interior and it is always a good idea to wash the insides of the windows so your view is not obstructed.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Tire pressure decreases in the winter months due to the colder temps, which probably caused you to fill up your tires. But as air gets warmer again, tire pressure can increase. If the pressure increases past the manufacturer’s specification (because of the added air during winter), it can seriously affect your vehicle's performance, i.e. from how it handles to fuel economy. If you don't feel comfortable checking tire pressures or are unable to do so, go to an auto parts store or a national shop -- such as Firestone – who usually performs the check for a nominal fee or you might even get it for free.
Inspect Your Wiper Blades
It should go without saying that you should replace your wiper blades in the spring and fall, however while they may still be in usable condition, check them for any signs of cracking or wear. Due to snow and ice, the wiper itself could be damaged and you are going to need those wipers for the spring and summer rains.
Check Under the Hood
Do a thorough check under your hood to make sure your car's engine made it through the winter without problems. Specifically, check belts and hoses to ensure the cold temperatures haven't rendered them brittle or heavily worn. Check your coolant to make sure it's not too old -- an important factor for avoiding overheating as temperatures climb. If you aren't comfortable performing these checks on your own, contact a local mechanic. While you may get billed for an hour of labor, it's better than having potential issues lurking under your hood.
Check Alignment and Suspension
Winter is known for being harsh on roads, and that in turn can be harsh on your vehicle. If you find yourself frequently driving on roads with potholes or rocks that have emerged from the asphalt, it could ruin your car's alignment or damage suspension components. Our advice: If you've taken your car to a mechanic to check under the hood, ask for a quick suspension and alignment check to make sure nothing is too far outside the manufacturer's specifications. It will be money well spent, plus, if everything checks out ok you have peace of mind while tooling down the road.