Winter weather is rough on your car, but summer car care poses its own challenges. Whether it’s a windshield full of bug splatters from the family road trip or floor mats that look as though you took half the beach home for a souvenir, it’s important to keep your car clean.
In between all that summertime fun, take a few minutes to show your car some love. Here’s how you can keep your car clean this summer.
1. Focus on Your Windshield
You don’t have to drive far in the summer to end up with a windshield covered with bug splatter. It’s not especially pleasant to look at, and it blocks your view. Use that squeegee when you’re at the gas station, and remember to keep your fluids topped off. For the summer months, make sure you have windshield washer fluid that can handle bugs and, better yet, prevents them from sticking in the first place.
It’s tempting to ignore the mess, but don’t put it off. The hot sun will bake on all that bug splatter, making it even more difficult to remove. Cleaning your windshield regularly is an essential part of summer car care, and it’s much easier than waiting and having to scrape off the mess instead.
2. Stop for a Car Wash
All the dirt, sand and road grime from summer driving needs to be washed off regularly. It might not look as bad as it does during the winter, but summer dirt is also rough on your car.
You should wash your car after every summer road trip, but that’s not the only time it needs a good bath. Whenever you see a buildup of dirt or grime, it’s time for a wash. Even if you don’t see any dirt, regular washes are an important part of summer car care.
3. Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum
No one likes to vacuum. But it doesn’t matter if it’s the house or the car, it still needs to be done. When you stop for a car wash, take a minute to vacuum your car, too. Sand is abrasive, and leaving it all over your floor or floor mats wears them out quicker, especially if they’re carpeted.
While you’re at it, give your seats a good vacuum to get rid of all the crumbs from those muffins you grabbed with your coffee on the way to work. If you have kids, pay extra attention to the rear seats. This includes removing car seats and cleaning whatever has collected underneath them. You don’t need unwelcome science experiments trying to grow from all the snacks that never made it to your child’s mouth.
4. Don’t Delay Cleaning Drink Spills
That gigantic drink seemed like a good idea right up until the moment you managed to fumble the cup and spill it all over yourself and your car. It doesn’t matter what it was; you need to clean up the mess as soon as possible.
The longer you let a spill set, the greater the chance it will cause a stain that might not come out, or worse — encourage mold to grow or ants to climb in for the ride. Make sure you wipe any spilled drinks from the seats, floor and center console. That sticky mess will only get worse after a few hours in the sun, so don’t delay.
Have fun this summer, and enjoy your days wherever your travels take you, but make sure to leave a little time for summer car care.
Check out all the chemical products available on NAPA online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on summer car care, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.
Nicole Wakelin covers the automotive industry as a freelance journalist for a variety of outlets. Her work includes news pieces, podcasts, radio, written reviews, and video reviews. She can be found in The Boston Globe, CarGurus, BestRide, US News and World Report, and AAA along with lifestyle blogs like Be Car Chic, The Other PTA, and She Buys Cars. She is active on social media with a large following on both Twitter and Instagram and currently serves as Vice President of the New England Motor Press Association.