A clean car to put a spring in your step


Does your vehicle get a birthday? Surely she deserves to get spoiled once a year – and there’s no time like spring time. Increasingly busy lifestyles often mean your car may not get groomed as often as it should. But by putting the following suggestions into practice and designating a day to your vehicle, you’ll reap the rewards.

SUCK IT UP, IT'LL LOOK FANTASTIC

The therapeutic rattling of dirt, stones and other day-to-day debris going into your vacuum cleaner should be enough to encourage the busiest of people to give the inside of their car a spruce up. 

After the kids’ discarded crackers are a distant memory you can turn your attention to those neglected areas and before you know it, you’ll feel like you’ve just driven off the lot. Taking care of the interior of your vehicle is also a long-term investment – if you ever need to sell your car, stains hopefully haven’t become permanent.

To get your car looking like the limo on the way to the Oscars, here’s some basic things you can do:

1. Vacuum floors, under and in the gaps beside the front seats
2. Clean out all rubbish and organise compartments – you’ll be amazed what you find!
3. Using a damp cloth, wipe out drinks holders, handbrake/gears housing and every nook and cranny of the dashboard
4. Use an appropriate cleaning product or protectant to give the smooth services a new car shine
5. Take care of carpet and upholstery stains with suitable cleaning products
6. Make the interior windows and mirror crystal clear with window cleaner
7. Deodorise with your favourite fragrance.

And remember, make sure your handbrakes, steering wheel and foot pedals aren’t still slippery before you make your first trip out!

IT’S YOUR TIME TO SHINE

It’s hard to believe how much road conditions can affect the exterior of your vehicle and although you might be a regular cleaner of the panel work, there are some other key areas to focus on. Those fiddly low-down places on your vehicle are prime collecting areas for a range of road and mechanical debris but if you see to them at least once a year, you can save yourself elbow grease in the future. 

Mag wheels in particular are eye-catching but they are also road and brake dust magnets. A thorough spring clean will help prevent stubborn grime build up and give them their metallic sparkle back.

A build-up of dirt, dust and other road nasties can tarnish your paint work too so a good scrub followed by a protective wax is the way to go.

Finish the exterior groom by reinvigorating the glimmer in your side mirrors and windows and you’ll be able to see through to that shiny, sleek and dust-free dashboard. Importantly, as summer approaches, a squeaky clean windscreen is a safer proposition against the sun’s glare.

BE A MECHANIC FOR A DAY

Looking under the bonnet of your car can be daunting or confusing – a maze of hoses and tubes all leading into who knows where, but even the least engine savvy can make themselves useful. Topping up any low fluid levels is the first step, whether it be the brakes, oil, radiator or the windscreen wiper reservoir. 

Next step, inspect those battery points to make sure they are secure, tightening them to make sure the bumpiest of roads isn’t going to let them come loose. Starting troubles can often be attributed to loose battery points.

If you fancy your skills under the hood, check all of the spark plugs to ensure they are still firing away as they should. This annual spring check-up of your engine may save you an unnecessary cost of a trip to the workshop when the problem may be as minor as a loose battery connection.

INSPECT THE UNEXPECTED

Now the hard work is done, get your white lab coat and clipboard and undertake a systems check. Depending on your Warrant of Fitness cycle, it may be some time before the next examination so in the meantime you can do your own. Save time by finding yourself a willing assistant to help out.

Here’s some easy things you can tick off:
  • Check all indicators are working, including hazard lights
  • Test brake lights are all systems go – you can do this on your own by reversing up to a wall and checking for the reflection
  • Ensure the wiper blades have some life left after the wet winter and replace if required
  • Run the ruler over tyres, looking specifically at the tread and don’t forget those three letters – PSI. Tyre pressure is a biggie!
  • Double check those all-important Warrant of Fitness and Registration dates to make sure you and your vehicle are legally covered 
  • Touch up any surface scratches and voila!
Keeping your vehicle in pristine condition both inside and outside not only increases your driving pleasure but will also make the next clean that much easier, saving you time and money in the long run. 

We’re full of great tips and ideas to make your motoring easier and more enjoyable so next time you’re visiting City Motor Group, feel free to ask us anything.