Giving Your Car a Spring Clean

24 March 2016 / Lindleys Autocentres

When was the last time you gave your car the thorough clean it deserves? Well, with the spring months well underway, now is a better time than any to give your car an in-depth spring clean in order to help minimise the risks of long-term corrosion damage as well as maintain your vehicle’s value. A clean car, is a happy car.

 

Inside Your Car

During winter, the inside of your car often becomes rather messy. Wet shoes and clothes bring unwanted moisture into your vehicle, and even though winter is now over, that doesn’t mean that the inside of your car has dried out properly. It’s important to keep the inside of your car clean as rotten carpets and scruffy appearance in general can knock down your vehicle’s price value drastically.

When investing in cleaning products for your car, ensure that you use the correct product for each material. Test the products on a small patch to avoid making any mistakes.

Begin by taking out loose floor mats, then giving the carpets a vacuum clean. If your carpets are really mukky, shampooing them helps to remove the dirt. When cleaning your carpets, avoid using excessive amounts of water and preferably select a relatively hot, sunny day so that you can leave your windows and doors open to help them dry. But remember to watch out for car thieves. If you notice any damp patches underneath your carpets, it’s a sign of rain water penetration which can cause corrosion to your vehicle. Be sure to take your car into your local autocentre.

 

Outside Your Car

Remove winter grime from paint work with warm water and a suitable car shampoo.

Start on the roof and work your way down and around the car, allowing stubborn dirt at the bottom to soak. Pay particular attention to the undersides of doors and sills and make sure that all the shampoo is fully rinsed off before drying the car.

Over winter, mud and dirt builds up on the outside of your car, to remove this use warm water and a car shampoo that is suitable for your vehicle. When cleaning your car, make sure to begin working on the roof and work your way down. Using this method the water runs down the sides of your car, allowing hard-to-remove dirt soak, which makes things easier later on.

Address areas of which your car is corroding (stone chips etc.) as if left, they will only get worse. You can resolve these corroded areas by investing in a stone chip repair kit. Patience is virtue when it comes to touching-up on areas affected by corrosion, so take your time and you should be able to get some pretty good results.

Car polish provides protection of your vehicle’s paintwork, and will also help when it comes to restoring loss of gloss on older cars.

 

Underneath Your Car

The underside of the car takes the worst of the winter weather. Mud soaks-up salt laden spray and, if left, will cause corrosion over time.

The underneath of your vehicle is the part that really takes the worst of the cold, wet weather that occurs over winter. And if left unattended, will cause corrosion. If there’s no current ban on hosepipes, then begin by hosing down the underneath of your vehicle. Pay extra attention to the front and rear wheel arches.

Once the underneath of your car is dry, check for any signs of damage that may have occurred to the underbody sealing compound. If you happen to find damage, it’s highly recommended to take your vehicle to your nearest autocentre, but there are products available that allow you to attend the damage yourself - if you know what you’re doing. If in doubt on how this may affect your warranty, be sure to double check with your dealer.

 

Tyres

Inspect your tyres carefully and look for signs of any cuts, bulges and splits. The minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm, but we strongly recommend having them replaced before the tread falls below 2mm to ensure maximum safety and performance.

If you switched to winter tyres in the Autumn then now's the time to switch back to your 'summer' tyres. If you've got two sets of wheels/tyres and are swapping them yourself read our advice on changing a wheel.

If you invested in winter tyres, then the time has come to swap back to your ‘summer’ tyres.

 

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