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April 2, 2017 10 Tips to Get Your Vehicle Ready for Spring

10 Tips to Get Your Vehicle Ready for Spring

Believe it or not, spring has finally arrived in Alberta. That means more daylight, dry roads, summer adventures — and time to wash the winter from your vehicle. Here’s a few tips about the little details like tire changes and windshield repair that help transition your vehicle to summer-ready condition.

1. Seasonal Tire Change

Don’t delay changing over your winter tires; the rubber compound that adds traction in winter conditions breaks down in hot, humid conditions. Driving on them in the summer will shorten their life and make them less safe in the winter. Experts recommend all-season tires for summer use.

2. Floor Mats

Take muddy, wet floor mats outside to clean and dry them thoroughly to avoid mold growth when they’re back in the vehicle. Use a stiff brush to dislodge embedded dirt in carpeted mats, then vacuum or use the power washer at the local car wash station.

3. Upholstery

Spray automotive-upholstery-and-carpet cleaner on the soft parts of the interior to keep the upholstery fresh. Scrub, wipe down, and repeat at least one more time. Treat the carpet the same way; carpets absorb moisture that encourages rust.

4. Drain Plugs

Take the drain plugs out from under the floor, remove any debris that’s collected in the holes with a piece of wire, and let the air circulate through your vehicle for a few days to get rid of that musty smell.

5. Exterior Wash

Wash your vehicle’s exterior when it’s cool — if it’s hot, soap will evaporate before it’s rinsed, leaving spots on the finish. Clean the wheels and wheel wells first so that mud doesn’t splash up; once they’re done, wash from the top down.

6. Wax for Protection

Wax enhances the shine of your car and protects the finish from dirt, moisture, and rust. It also protects it from becoming hazy and dull from exposure to ultraviolet light, bugs, and birds. Most vehicles need to be waxed at least twice a year; specialists recommend waxing just before winter and in the spring. If water doesn’t bead on the finish, it’s time to apply a non-abrasive wax.

7. Underbody

Wash the underside of the vehicle as well as the outside to flush away mud and slush –accumulated dirt absorbs water and contaminants that can corrode metal. Use a hose or power washer, or spend a little more at the car wash for the attendant to include the underbody.

8. Door Sills and Seals

Clean the door sills and around the door opening with a cloth soaked in non-detergent car wash solution, then wipe them dry. Apply wax when you’re finished, but keep it away from rubber seals and trim. You can treat door seals with mineral oil or silicone spray to keep them pliable.

Once that’s done, remove any debris that are plugging drain holes at the bottom of each door, using a small screwdriver, wire or knitting needle. These drain holes release rainwater that runs from the outside of the windows; try to keep them clear so that water isn’t trapped.

9. Windshield Repair and Cleaning

You can clean windows with a solution of hot water and ammonia-free car solution — ammonia in household glass cleaners can dry out rubber and vinyl surfaces. An anti-fogging agent will keep the windows clear in damp spring weather. Using a microfiber cloth when you’re cleaning can help avoid streaks or towel marks. If you need any windshield repair work to clear up chips and cracks then now’s the time.

10. Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers are a safety feature, but winter is hard on them. Tests conducted by Consumer Reports show that most windshield wipers last about six months; if they’re leaving streaks or missing part of the windshield, they should be replaced. Don’t forget to check the rear wiper at the same time.

Do you need a new windshield or are you looking to get your windshield repairs? JD Collision’s auto collision centre in Cold Lake is currently offering windshield installation at 10% off, and our collision repair shop in Bonnyville is taking 10% off windshield repair. Visit either of our shops today and take advantage of this spring tune-up offer!