April 15th, 2020 by

Looking ahead to the summer, it’s easy to get lost in daydreams about beach days, cookouts, and road trips. Perhaps that’s why spring cleaning is such a time-honored tradition – to keep our minds properly distracted. Most people have a love-hate relationship with cleaning projects. It’s a bit of an undertaking to do them, but it feels so good to literally start fresh in a new season.

As you declutter and clean your home room by room, don’t forget to show your vehicle some love, too. Even though the winters in Fort Walton Beach, FL are mild, spring is a great time to give your car a thorough cleaning. Winter winds and precipitation can cling to vehicles, causing dirt and grime to accumulate. You want to make sure that buildup is gone before the summer rains arrive to avoid any rust from forming.

The weather is certainly nice enough in the Florida panhandle, so head outside to enjoy the sunshine and deep clean your car while you’re at it. With these tips, you’ll be done in no time.

Work from the inside out

Begin by decluttering the interior of your car. If you have young children who still use car seats, remove them so you can clean under and behind their seats. Remove any trash (isn’t it always amazing where you find crumpled-up wrappers hiding?), making sure to check under and between seats, as well as the glove compartment, center console, and trunk. Old papers, wadded-up grocery bags, and fast-food napkins to get shoved into these areas and forgotten about. Organize any must-have items such as sunglasses, mints, and garage door openers so that everything is in its place.

Declutter and deep clean

Once your vehicle is free of clutter, vacuum the entire interior. Remove floor mats and seat covers, if you have them, and shake them out away from your car. Vacuum those individually before putting them back in. If you have a vacuum with attachments, use a long, narrow nozzle attached to the hose to get down into the nooks and crannies between the seats and in cupholders.

Using mild dish soap and warm water, spot clean any areas of your upholstery that need it. If you have genuine leather seats or another special interior, be sure to consult your owner’s manual before using anything on the material. It’s a good idea to spot clean your floor mats as well, and a stiff-bristle brush is excellent for that job.

Finally, wipe down all the hard surfaces in your vehicle with a lint-free cloth. Microfiber cloths don’t produce any lint and are typically very easy to find in stores. Don’t forget your door handles, instrument dials, and vents.

Don’t forget the windows

It’s easy to forget about your interior glass, but giving these areas some attention makes a world of difference. Use a clean microfiber cloth and glass cleaner to wipe down the inside of your windshield, all windows, and your rearview mirror. Be sure not to use paper towels, because they may leave scratches behind.

While you’re focusing your attention on the car windows, take a close look at your windshield wipers. They should be replaced roughly once a year anyway, and right after winter is a great time to do it. It’s easy enough to do yourself, but you can also bring your vehicle into your local Chevrolet-certified service shop.

Time to shine

When you’re satisfied that your car’s interior is sparkling clean, it’s time to wash the exterior. If there’s ever a time to splurge on a full-service professional car wash, now is the time. However, some people prefer to wash their vehicles themselves and that’s fine, too. If you do go that route, be sure to use products designed specifically for automobiles, as household products may be too harsh and could dull or damage your paint. Gently dry your vehicle with a soft microfiber cloth and apply wax or any other finishing products if you’d like.

Spend a little extra time washing your tires, using a stiff brush to remove the grime buildup in all the small crevices. This is also a perfect time to check your tire pressure and be sure they’re properly inflated. Seasonal changes in temperature and dew point can cause tires to expand and contract, potentially leaving them under- or over-inflated. Both are potentially dangerous, so be sure they’re inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications. Your local tire and service shop can check your tires if you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself.

The final step in making sure your vehicle is spring-ready is bringing it in for a routine maintenance appointment. Get the oil changed, top off fluids, and be sure your filters are in good working order. Preston Hood Chevrolet in Fort Walton Beach, FL has a complete Chevrolet-certified service department with convenient appointment hours. From simple battery checks to comprehensive multi-point inspections, Preston Hood Chevrolet is your one-stop Chevy stop. Contact us or schedule your appointment online today!

Posted in Tips