It’s spring! You know what that means? Spring cleaning for your car and car maintenance! It’s time for weatherproofing, checking your tires, and making sure everything is running smoothly under the hood. We at VIP European Auto Interiors will tell you how!
Clean Your Seats and Carpet
It’s time to break out the old vacuum cleaning and give your car a good once (or twice) over with it. Shake out all of the weatherproof mats you have and use a brush attachment to really get deep into the carpet fibers.
You can use carpet shampoo for tough stains. Just make sure you follow the directions carefully and don’t oversaturate your carpet. Too much water can cause mold and mildew! For the toughest wear and tear, you may want to consider replacing it!
For seat cleaning, it depends on the material.
Nylon is tough to keep clean, but thankfully really easy to clean. Nylon is quite porous, and that means it will pick up dirt and debris every time you drive your car. You can clean your nylon upholstery by vacuuming it to remove this debris, then use hot water and a mild detergent to do a deeper cleaning.
To clean it, wring out a damp cloth and apply the cleaning solution to the cloth. The cleaning product should be designed for microsuede to lift out the accumulated dirt and debris. The more often you clean your polyester upholstery, the easier it will be to keep the interior in pristine condition.
Vinyl is non-porous, so it will not trap dirt and debris the way other types of automotive upholstery will. Vinyl upholstery can be kept clean with nothing more than a damp cloth or cleaning towel.
If your vinyl is starting to smell, you can deodorize it by sprinkling baking soda on the newly-cleaned seats. Leave it overnight and then vacuum and scrub the residue off the following day.
Never use a lot of water for leather! It is very susceptible to water stains and drying out. Instead, wipe it down with a slightly damp cloth and use leather conditioner.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Your tires are the only point of contact between your car and the road and are an obviously vital part of your vehicle. Warmer air means more air pressure in your tire. If you had to inflate them in the winter (which is common due to the cold weather), it’s very possible that you may need to deflate them in the spring.
A tire can lose or gain 1 PSI (pound per square inch) for every 10-degree change in temperature. Overinflated tires have very little “give” on the road, meaning they’re likely to pop if you hit a pothole, or run over a rock. It also causes the tread to wear out faster.
Check your tires’ optimal pressure in your car’s owner’s manual and check the pressure once a month. While you’re inspecting your tire, be sure to look at the tread too. If it’s uneven or irregular, or if there are ‘cuts” on the sidewalls, it could be time for a replacement or rotation.
Be sure to rotate your tires every 10,000 miles to ensure optimal performance!
Don’t Neglect Your Windshield
Did you know that warm weather can cause glass to become brittle? This means any unsealed cracks or chips in your windshield could get worse as the weather heats up! For your own safety, you should seal all cracks in your windshield or look to get the entire thing replaced.
Driving with a small crack in your windshield is usually fine, but a larger crack can be dangerous as it dramatically reduces the integrity of the glass and lowers your visibility. The larger the crack, the higher the chance of it cracking further.
If you opt to seal the crack, remember that the springtime comes with more sun too. Every time the sun hits the crack or chip, there will be a “sun dazzle” effect as the sun reflects off of it. This can impair your vision while driving.
Don’t forget about your wiper blades. With spring comes rain, so be sure your visibility isn’t impaired by old, cracked, or torn wiper blades.
Check Your Car’s Battery
Just like how your tires can get low in cold weather, so can your battery’s charge. Low temperatures force your battery to work harder because the cold weather slows down its internal chemical reactions. As the temperature gets warmer, your battery fluid can be evaporated and speed up corrosion, which only speeds up the draining process.
If you kept your battery charged in the winter, then you should be all set for the spring. If you didn’t, consider checking it to make sure your car won’t be dead after its first spring excursion.
If your battery is over five years old, you should get it checked out and consider replacing it as well.