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How to give your vehicle a spring clean

Keeping your car clean ensures it remains in good condition and reduces the likelihood of breakdowns.

With spring around the corner, it’s the perfect time to give your car some much-needed TLC before the warmer weather ahead. Here are some tips to prepare your vehicle for spring.  

Clean and wax your car

Your car is likely to need a thorough cleaning after the winter. Give your vehicle a thorough wash to remove winter dirt and salt residue. Apply a coat of wax to protect the paint and restore its shine, and don’t forget to clean underneath the car to prevent rust.

Red car driving past tulips field

Get your car serviced

Ensure your car is regularly serviced to ensure it remains in good condition and reduce the risk of breakdowns. A basic service can cost as little as £100, but this does not cover repairs, replacements, or new parts, so you will need to factor this in.

Ensure your tyres are ready for spring

Regularly check your tyres and air pressures at least once a month. The legal minimum tyre tread depth for cars is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre, meeting this requirement around the entire circumference. 

However, replacing tyres when the tread depth falls below 3mm is advisable.

Clean and polish wheels

Give your wheels and rims a thorough clean to prevent brake dust and road grime. Apply a wheel cleaner and polish to give them a glossy finish.

Check your battery

A flat battery is a common reason a vehicle might fail to start. If your battery is over three years old, you should replace it before it fails. Ensure battery terminals are secure and corrosion-free, and try to limit the use of car features like the stereo, which could drain the battery.

Check your lights

Maintaining clean and clear exterior lights is essential for safer driving. Dirty headlights emit less light, making it harder for other drivers to see you. If your headlights appear foggy, clean them with a cloth and water.

Alternatively, use toothpaste to polish the plastic covers, as it contains a mild abrasive that restores clarity. Consider purchasing a cleaning kit for approximately £25, providing all necessary tools for a consistent finish.

Check all other exterior lights, replacing dim or burnt-out bulbs.

Keep your windscreen and windows clean

Wet roads, dirt, spray, and the lower winter sun can impede visibility, so keep your windscreen clean inside and out. Promptly repair windscreen cracks or chips to prevent further issues.

You should also clean your vehicle thoroughly at least once a week to ensure better all-round visibility.

Check your wiper blades

Ensure your wiper blades are in good condition and ready for the spring showers. Replace your wiper blades if they smear, streak, judder, or squeak. You can prevent smearing by cleaning your wiper blades with warm, soapy water. Also, inspect the blades for nicks or tears by gently running your fingertips along the rubber edge and replacing them where necessary.  

Clean the inside of your vehicle

Give the inside of your vehicle a thorough clean. This includes vacuuming the seats, mats, and carpets to remove dirt and debris. Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe down surfaces, like the dashboard and door panels.

De-clutter your vehicle, removing any unnecessary items. A clean and tidy car looks good and can also help with your driving as you won’t be distracted by loose items that could impede your driving and concentration.

Consider using an upholstery cleaner or shampoo to remove stains and odours from seats and carpets. This will ensure your vehicle is fresh and clean.

Ensure the air conditioning works

With warmer weather around the corner, you’ll want to ensure the air conditioning in your car is working properly. Cleaning your car’s air conditioning system helps kill bacteria and eliminate lingering odours.

Check fluids and filters

Spring is the ideal time to top up your vehicle’s fluids, such as oil, coolant, and windscreen washer fluid. Also, replace your air filters if necessary to improve engine performance.

Final thoughts

Following these simple tips will help ensure your vehicle remains fresh and clean during the spring so you can make the most of the warmer weather.

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