Spring Cleaning For Your Car

Winter is winding down, and Spring is in the air!  Now is the time for airing out the house, cleaning windows, sweeping out the garage, and much more.  But don't forget your car!  Here are a few good tips for spring cleaning your car and getting it ready for the summer months:
 
Wash and Wax: A good, thorough wash and wax is the most important thing to do with your car once the winter is over. Winter driving can cause a huge amount of road grime, debris and -- worst of all -- salt (not to mention the spray-on ice reducer used nowadays) to build up on your car. You want to make sure those items are long gone before spring starts. Allowing debris and grime to build up on your car can affect its paint and finish while allowing salt to build up can lead to rust and other serious problems.  Make sure to get in the wheel wells and underneath your vehicle as much as possible since that's where much of the debris, grime, and salt will be hiding.
 
Don't forget the inside: Nobody wants to spend time cleaning out their car during a cold winter day. That's why spring is the perfect time to clean your car's interior, so spend a day doing some spring cleaning. Remove and throw away all the interior papers, trash and other items that have accumulated over the winter. Pull out the floor mats and give them and your car a really good vacuuming.  Dust off the dash and don't forget the windows!  Not only will you have a clean car, but your spring cleaning can be done when it's more temperate and comfortable outside.
 
Check your tire pressure: Tire pressure is especially important in the spring. As air temperatures get cooler during the winter, tire pressures decrease, which probably caused you to fill up your tires during the winter months. But as the air gets warmer again in the spring, tire pressures can increase. If the pressure increases past your manufacturer specification (because you added air during the winter), it can seriously affect your car's drivability and fuel economy...not to mention those darn tire pressure lights coming on! 
 
Inspect your wiper blades: As spring starts and temperatures warm up, check your wiper blades for any signs of cracking or wear. The wiper itself could wear dramatically over the winter due to ice buildup or other issues on your windshield. You'll need those wipers for spring rains, so be sure they're in good working order after winter comes and goes.
 
Check under the hood: Do a thorough check under your hood to make sure your car's engine made it through the winter without problems. Specifically, check belts and hoses to ensure the cold temperatures haven't rendered them brittle or heavily worn. Check your coolant to make sure it's not too old -- an important factor for avoiding overheating as temperatures gradually climb. If you don't feel comfortable doing these checks on your own remember that many places (like the Birdnow Dealerships!) do these checks on every routine oil change.
 
Check your alignment and suspension: Winter is known for being harsh on roads, and that in turn can be harsh on your vehicle. If you find yourself frequently traversing roads with huge potholes or rocks that have emerged from the asphalt, it could ruin your car's alignment or damage suspension components.  If you've taken your car in to check under the hood, ask for a quick suspension and alignment check to make sure nothing is too far outside the manufacturer's specifications.  Your tires will thank you.
 
Most importantly enjoy the rising temperatures and nicer weather!  Thanks for reading!

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