Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to get cleaning — and that doesn’t just go for your house. A good spring cleaning of your car can mean more than just washing off the salt. Over the course of the winter, things pile up and make a real mess of your car. Here’s a look at the top 10 things you should be doing to get your ride ready for the summer.
1. Car Wash
A solid washing is a great place to start. Some mild soap, water and a little elbow grease will remove road salt that can cause corrosion on the body and underneath.
2. Keep It Rollin’
Even alloy wheels can rust, so while you’re washing, make sure you spray them down too. Brake dust and grime can really damage your wheels, so a good wash is a great way to kick off the summer.
3. Wax On
Once you’ve washed it, give your car a good waxing to help protect its finish. If you’re trying out a new wax, be sure to test it on an area of the body that’s not as visible first.
4. Under the Hood
With the hood up, remove any leaves and debris that may have collected and wipe down the edges of the hood and body. If your engine is really grimy, consider having it professionally power washed or getting a power wash attachment for your own hose.
5. Junk in the Trunk
It’s time to put away that ice scraper, roll up those jumper cables and put get all the dirt and stuff out of the trunk. While you’re in there, now is a good time to check the pressure on your spare tire and replenish your emergency kit with summer supplies.
6. Room With a View
Summer is for road trips, and no one wants to take in nature’s splendor through a dirty windshield. Scrub both the inside and outside of the windows, and while you’re at it, the mirrors could use a quick cleaning too.
7. Self Storage
Inside your car, things can pile up in the glove box, cup holders, pockets and center console. Spring cleaning is a great time to grab a small garbage bag and throw out all those receipts and other junk that’s gathered throughout the winter.
You went through all the trouble of cleaning the windows and body, so why not wipe down the dashboard too? Be careful not to spray cleaner into any electronics, but the dash, consoles and cup holders can probably stand a good wipe down too.
9. Wall to Wall Carpet
Vacuuming the rugs and mats should be saved for last, as everything you clean will fall down. Removing dirt, rock salt and food not only helps your car look great, but also keeps it from smelling like a trash can.
10. Wipe Out
Last but not least, install a fresh set of windshield wipers. Salt, ice and cold weather can destroy wiper blades, so now is a great time to put on some new ones before you get caught out in the rain.
Keeping your car clean inside and out helps it look great, run better and hold its value longer.
Check out all the chemical products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 16,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on spring cleaning your car, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Image courtesy of Flickr.
Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.