(NAPSI)—When it’s time for spring-cleaning, remember to include your car. Cleaning your vehicle inside and out prevents the buildup of damaging chemicals and dirt, reduces the potential for rust from road salt and helps ensure proper visibility needed for safe driving.
To get started, remove any clutter from inside the car, including items that have accumulated in the trunk that can add extra weight and reduce fuel efficiency. The next step is to thoroughly clean and vacuum the interior and wash the windows.
When washing the outside, include the tires, wheels, underside and fenders to eliminate any road salt or grime. Wheels and tires should be cleaned with a mitt other than the one used to wash the body. This will avoid contaminating the vehicle’s paint with debris from the wheels and tires.
Wash in the shade and with a product sold specifically for cars. Wash one section at a time, thoroughly rinsing away the soap as you go. Work your way down toward the front, sides and rear of the vehicle. Clean the fenders and bumpers last since they will have the most dirt and grime that can contaminate the wash mitt.
Give the car a final rinse: Remove the spray nozzle from the hose and let the water cascade down the surfaces of the vehicle. To avoid water spots, dry your car with a chamois or other product made for drying.
The last step is to wax the car. This should be done out of direct sunlight and every six months. It goes a long way toward protecting the vehicle’s finish and makes subsequent washes easier.
If you found any stone chips, rust or other problem spots while washing your vehicle, the experts at the Car Care Council recommend having these taken care of immediately to prevent further damage.
The Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers.
For further facts and tips, visit www.carcare.org.
There are also important parts on your vehicle that need to be replaced when they get old—including your shock absorbers and struts. But replacing them is more than just a matter of keeping your vehicle fresh—it can also help keep you and your family safe.
“Shocks and struts are hidden behind the wheels, so their condition isn’t as easy to see, and drivers tend to miss the gradual loss of steering, stopping and stability that occurs as they wear out,” says Carri Irby, brand manager for Monroe shocks and struts manufacturer Tenneco Inc. “So it’s important to have the vehicle’s ride control system inspected at least once a year and to replace worn shocks and struts at 50,000 miles.” (Actual mileage may vary depending on driver ability, vehicle type and driving and road conditions, according to Irby.)
Shocks and struts are part of a system of interrelated under-car components known as the “Safety Triangle.” Other elements of this system are the tires, brakes and chassis parts, such as ball joints and tie rod ends. When any of these parts is worn, the entire system can be compromised, leading to a loss of steering precision, stopping performance and overall vehicle stability in a variety of driving situations.
To reinforce this important safety message, the Monroe brand recently launched an extensive North American marketing campaign titled “Everything Gets Old. Even Your Shocks.” The campaign contrasts these vital but often overlooked vehicle components with worn everyday items that most consumers replace on a more frequent basis—shoes, toothbrushes, batteries, and even tires.
“It’s vital to understand that while you might not be able to see them without getting down on your hands and knees, shocks and struts take an incredible beating and they do get old,” said Irby. “Protect your safety by asking your vehicle service provider for a ride control inspection and, if your shocks and struts are worn out, have them replaced.”
(BPT) – With summer-just around the corner, it’s time to get-your car-in tip-top shape to withstand hot days and long road trips. Summer driving requires your car to run differently; some adjustments and inspections are important to ensure your vehicle lasts season to season. Follow these five fast fixes and inspections to cruise through the summer and avoid roadside headaches.
Tires perform differently in different weather conditions, so as the weather changes, it’s important to check tire pressure and tire tread. To check tire tread, see if the built-in “wear bars” are visible. These are narrow strips of rubber across the tires that appear when the tread is worn down to one-sixteenth of an inch. If you can see wear bars, your tires need to be replaced.
Now that you’ve put in the effort to make your tires safe, make them shine. The Tire Shine Coating from Dupli-Color will keep your tires looking like new all season long. It’s easy to apply and features Shine-Last technology. Its formula lasts five times longer than silicone-based tire dressings, so tires will keep their shine through rain and other harsh elements. Simply spray it on your tires and hit the open road in style.
De-winterize Your Car
De-winterizing your car is easy and affordable. First, check all the fluid levels – coolant, transmission, differential, power steering and brake fluid – to make sure there aren’t any leaks. It’s also a good idea to change the oil between seasons, as oil gets thick and collects condensation if it sits in the engine all winter.
It’s also important to thoroughly clean the-undercarriage-of your car after a long winter, especially if you live in a snowy climate. To avoid spending extra money on detailing, clean the undercarriage yourself using a basic water hose or high-pressure cleaning system. In just a few minutes, you can ensure your vehicle is ready for the new road conditions and help you avoid any unnecessary issues.
Winter can be tough on a car’s exterior and sunshine will reveal every nick, chip and scratch in your vehicle’s paint. Restoring your ride’s original factory finish takes only minutes with the easy-to-apply Dupli-Color ScratchFix 2 in 1. This innovative touch-up paint product is available in hundreds of Exact-Match colors for domestic and imported vehicles.
Simply use your vehicle’s make, model and year to find your guaranteed matching color code, and use one of the two applicators to fix any scrapes or nicks in no time. With a roller ball tip for precision and a tapered brush for full coverage, ScratchFix 2 in 1 will not only make your car look great, it will also protect the damaged surface from rusting and becoming a big, expensive problem.
Check The AC
Your air conditioning system will be working overtime in the summer, so take time to test it to make sure it’s working properly sooner, rather than later. Since the vehicle’s refrigerant is under high pressure and harmful to the atmosphere, it’s best to leave any inspection or maintenance to a qualified professional. Mechanics can easily trap and recycle used refrigerant with the proper tools, and you can drive off with confidence you’ll stay cool all summer.
Inspect Hoses And Belts
The key to comfortable, safe summer driving is keeping the engine cool, and hoses and belts play a huge part in helping your engine run properly. Hoses pump coolant to and from the engine block, and belts run the fan that cools the system further. If the hoses crack or the belts snap, the radiator will quickly overheat, leaving you stranded. Check hoses for cracks, leaks and loose connections. Hoses should be firm, never soft and malleable, and belts can be visually checked for damage. If anything is noticeably wrong, get it fixed immediately, before you’re stranded in the summer heat.
Vehicles need updating and maintenance through the changing of the seasons, but a few easy steps can prevent a summer of unexpected issues and repairs. Start now on these preventative maintenance tips and you’ll be cruising smoothly all season long.