How To: Spring Clean Your Motor
Admittedly my daily commute is still punctuated by the odd snow shower, but the clocks will be going forward again soon and spring is hopefully on its way. Why not take the opportunity now to get your vehicle ready for the warmer months and take care of a few issues that can arise during winter too? To help you give your motor a proper spring clean we've put together this handy check list.
Now is good time to check the tread depth and pressure of your tyres. You can use a 20p piece to make sure they have at least 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre, the outer rim will show if you have the correct depth. If you chose to use winter tyres you should now change back to your all season rubbers. Winter tyres are specially manufactured to withstand cold and icy conditions and they can be damaged by hot weather.
During winter your car can take a hammering from mud, dirt and grit. Mark the start of spring by getting your car cleaned and waxed. It's sometimes easier said than done in Northern England, but try to pick a nice sunny day so that the wax has chance to protect your paint job properly.
Under the Hood
Autumn leaves can easily find their way under the hood along with general dirt and debris. Wait for your engine to cool down and remove any detritous before giving it a wipe down, at the same time why not check your oil and add washer fluid.
It's not just the outside of your vehicle that bears the brunt of winter, plenty of that seasonal grime makes its way through to the interior too. Get those car mats out and give them a clean with a pressure washer if possible, or at least brush, hoover and wash them. Make sure you get them throughly dry before putting them back to avoid any mould growing.
You may find the upholstery in your vehicle could do with being spruced up too. Use a cloth dampened with warm water and washing up liquid for most stains. If you use anything more potent, try and test it on an inconspicous areas first.
Another part of your car that can get neglected during colder months is the trunk. Whether that's because you've filled it with warm clothes and essentials or muddy boots have gotten it dirty, now's your chance to empty it out and get it clean. After wiping the plastic edges of your boot with a damp cloth, give the inside a vacuum too, you might also find a lint roller helpful to get rid of pet hair and other debris.
It makes sense to get your vehicle serviced once winter is on the way out. The extra use of your lights and wipers during darker, wetter months mean they could need replacing. Roads can often be in worse condition during winter and pot holes will wreak havoc on mechanical and electrical components alike, so have your garage check everything is still aligned and working correctly.
Foggy windows during those damper days is frustrating, and can be worsened by dirt build up. Take the time to give your windows and mirrors a good clean with proper car-window cleaning fluid, try using an anti fogging spray too for extra protection.
Be careful not to get any electric components wet but be sure to give your dashboard a wipe with a cloth, clean any plastics and cup holders at the same time. Make sure you let everything dry properly afterwards to avoid your car becoming damp.