It appears as if we’ve officially broken free from one of the harshest, longest winters in recent years. That means it’s time to bring out the duster and the vacuum for a bit of spring cleaning, but it’s not just your house that will need a bit of freshening up, you’ll want to give your car the same treatment, too. Saundra Massingille of the GM Service Learning Center threw together six quick spring cleaning tips so your car is left looking its best after its first wash of the season.
Clean Salt Off Your Underbody
Washing your car off with a bit of soap and water is essential. However GM suggests you go beyond washing the exterior body panels, especially if you drive in areas where salt is used on the roads. Salt can accumulate on the underside of a vehicle and if left to stay, can accelerate rust. The solution: use plain water to wash away salt deposits at least once a year.
Clean Salt Off Your Carpeting
Salt doesn’t just accumulate underneath your vehicle, it gets everywhere. If you have been walking through an icy parking lot for example, you may have tracked salt into your car and left an unsightly white residue on your floor mats. GM suggests you mix a solution with equal parts hot water and distilled white vinegar, apply the mixture to the stained area, and scrub it off with a stiff brush. If the stain persists you can also use a concentrated cleaner, like a heavy-duty carpet and stain remover.
Lubricate Your Hinges
Consider lubricating door hinges, hood hinges, fuel door hinges, trunk hinges and any other hinges you might be able to find with a multi-purpose lubricant. This will prevent future rust and squeaks.
Lubricate Your Door Seals And Weatherstripping
Lubricating door seals and weather-stripping is also a good idea. These rubber moldings act as seals and help keep wind, water, and other elements out of your vehicle. Seals work best when they are soft and pliable, so GM suggests wiping them down with either a dielectric lithium grease or a specialized cleaner like GM’s own weatherstrip lubricant to ensure they seal properly.
Change Your Wiper Blades
With Spring comes rain, so there is no better time to replace your wiper blades then right now. If you’ve noticed your blades have been streaking or skipping while wiping, you might be due for new blades. Also check for cracks in the rubber squeegee or disfiguration.
Check Your Tires
Depending on the outdoor temperature, tire pressures change. If you had to fill your tires due to low air pressure in the winter, you might want to let some air out once the warm weather starts to come around. Overinflating a tire can not only worsen ride quality, but reduce the tire’s contact area with the ground, potentially reducing grip. While you’re checking tire pressures, take the time to visually inspect your tires for rot, sidewall bulges, and ensure tread depth is still at an acceptable (and legal) level.