Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be limited to your home. After a long winter, it’s time to clean up your car to wash away the colder months and prepare your vehicle for warmer weather. During the winter, dirt and grime can build up on your car’s exterior, which can wear away over time. Taking time to care for the body of your car can protect it from erosion, while cleaning it up on the inside can help you freshen up your cabin and take inventory of your dashboard before the new season.
You can use this checklist to care for your car this spring. We also include some DIY tips and techniques to help you maintain your vehicle and a list of items to keep in your car to prepare for the warmer weather. Knowing how to care for your vehicle’s seasonal needs and what to have stocked can keep you cruising smoothly.
Springtime Car Essentials
Image via Flickr by Sue90ca
Here are some important items to keep on hand in your vehicle for the springtime:
- An extra pair of sunglasses: With the days getting longer through spring, having an extra pair of shades on hand can protect your eyes and keep you safe on the road. Packing an extra pair of sunglasses means you always have a team to spare for those sunny spring days.
- An umbrella: It’s no secret that springtime brings surprise rain showers. Keep an umbrella in your car, so you’re always prepared to go out no matter the weather.
- A box of tissues: While you want to keep your car running all spring, the same can’t be said about your nose. Always have a box of tissues handy in your vehicle for your comfort and your passengers.
- Your allergy medication: If you have springtime allergies, keeping a backup pack of your preferred allergy medication in your car can come in handy. Fight back against itchy eyes and a stuffy nose by keeping your medication on hand.
- Moist towelettes: With springtime, rain comes springtime mud. Having a pack of moist towelettes in your car provides a quick and convenient cleanup option to wipe down your shoes or hands before getting into your vehicle.
- An air freshener: Keep your car smelling fresh by replacing your air freshener at the turn of the season. Stick to your tried-and-true favorite, or try something new, bright, and floral to match the season.
Springtime Car Care Checklist
Here’s a checklist of essential care and maintenance tasks to complete for your car this spring. Use this list to guide you through all your car care needs when transitioning to the new season, and discover tips for performing DIY car care.
Perform DIY Detailing
Detailing means cleaning up your car’s exterior and interior. You can do this yourself by washing off the dirt and grime from winter to prevent it from corroding the outside of your vehicle. You can also spend some time cleaning up the inside because you likely tracked in some mud and other debris throughout the winter. If you’re cleaning the exterior of your car on your own, it’s good to prepare a bucket of water with some car soap mixed in. Car soap is specially formulated to avoid damaging your car’s paint and finish.
Use a soft sponge to clean your car’s exterior from top to bottom. Choosing a soft sponge prevents any scratching. Additionally, sponges are great for picking up dirt and are flexible enough to squeeze into your vehicle’s exterior’s tighter nooks and crannies. When cleaning your windshield, consider adding a water repellent product to improve your visibility during springtime rain showers.
In addition to cleaning the outside of your car, spend time wiping down the interior. You can use wet wipes to clean dust from your seats, steering column, and dashboard. Consider using a vacuum with a hose attachment to get the dust, dirt, and debris from the crevices of your car. Take out your floor mats, wash them before hanging them out to dry, and vacuum under them. If you’re cleaning hard-to-reach spaces like your air vents and speakers, a toothbrush or soft-bristled paintbrush can be handy tools for clearing away dust.
Check Your Windshield Wipers
It’s good to check your wipers after using them all winter long. Your wipers can wear down over time, primarily if you used them to combat cold rain, snow, and ice in the colder months. You can clean them by removing them and wiping them with a damp cloth or paper towels, but be careful to avoid any sharp edges.
Also, check your wiper fluid by spraying some on your windshield. If needed, top it off and run your wipers to make sure they’re functioning correctly. It may be time to replace them if they produce streaky residue or make a squeaking noise against your windshield.
Assess Your Tires
It’s good to check your tires between seasons. Look for signs of bending, damage, or rust that need to be addressed. This is also an excellent time to review the tire pressure, mainly if you let your car sit in the winter because you went on less frequent outings during the cool weather.
Testing your tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge can save your tire. You can invest in a portable air compressor to get your anxiety up to the standard and monitor it throughout the year, or visit a gas station and use their air machine for a small fee.
We recommend just a few seasonal car care tips to get your vehicle ready for spring. Did we miss anything? Contact us about what you keep in your car for spring, and let us know your favorite DIY car care tips for warmer weather. If you need help with your routine maintenance, our service center is here to help. You can also check out our parts center for deals on the materials you need to keep your car running at its best.