Ahh, summertime. No doubt you’re ready for summer road trips, but is your vehicle? April is one of two National Car Care months, the perfect time to focus your attention on spring cleaning your vehicle and investing in your vehicle’s regular preventative maintenance. Plus, spring is an excellent time to take care of any issues that occurred during winter.
From scouring away salt grime to scheduling a pre-trip inspection, we’ve got everything you need in this blog—including expert advice from Matthews Tire Appleton East Manager Craig Keberlein—to make your ride shiny and safe as you head into the sunny months ahead.
How to Spring Clean Your Vehicle’s Interior
Do you have winter gear or equipment such as heavy blankets or shovels stored in your car? Craig recommends removing these items from your vehicle as you prepare to clean the interior.
Once you declutter your vehicle, continue the spring-cleaning process by vacuuming, dusting and wiping the interior of your car. This will help get rid of any dirt, dust or debris that may have accumulated during the winter months. Craig added that spring is a great time to clean out the trunk as well, so you have plenty of space for all your summertime gear. Finally, wash those interior windows to improve your visibility as well as your vehicle’s safety and appearance.
Should You Invest in Specialty Car Wipes?
Specialty car wipes, such as those designed for cleaning leather or dashboard surfaces, can be a convenient way to clean your car’s interior. However, whether they’re worth the investment ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences.
A gentle soap and water solution can be just as effective for cleaning certain surfaces, such as plastic or metal. Additionally, some vehicle’s wipes may contain harsh chemicals that can damage your car’s interior if used improperly. Go with the more affordable route if you don’t have specific cleaning needs.
How to Spring Clean Your Vehicle’s Exterior
Now that your vehicle’s interior is clean, you can move to the exterior. Craig recommends washing and waxing your car to protect the paint from the elements and give it a fresh, new look.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is to clean your car’s exterior after Wisconsin’s winter months,” Craig said. “The harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on your car’s exterior, causing damage to the paint and body if left unattended. Salt, sand and other winter debris can accumulate on your car’s exterior, leading to corrosion and rust if left unattended.”
A thorough cleaning of your car’s exterior and an under-carriage flush after winter helps prevent long-term damage and keeps your car looking its best.
How Often Should You Change Wiper Blades?
Spring is a good time to check and potentially replace your vehicle’s wiper blades. Worn-out wiper blades can make it difficult to see in rain or sleet.
“Make sure that your wiper blades clean well and don’t make noise,” Craig shared. “You want them to wipe smooth and clean without chattering or leaving streaks.”
Read more in our windshield wiper guide.
How Do You Diagnose Tire Wear?
Leave it to the professionals at Matthews Tire to properly diagnose tire wear. Craig assured that Matthews’ ASE-certified automobile technicians know what to look for that the average person may not be able to see.
“We’ll get on our hands and knees to inspect the tires or put the vehicle on a rack at the shop,” Craig said. “We know how to look for uneven wear, edge wear and can check your vehicle’s tire pressure.”
Give Your Vehicle that Detailed Look
If you want to give your vehicle that detailed look, a little extra time and effort can help you achieve your goal without ever leaving your driveway.
Once you’ve finished washing the exterior, use a microfiber cloth or chamois to dry your car, making sure to remove all water droplets to avoid water spots.
Next, wax your car. Craig recommends using high-quality car wax. “Apply it evenly with a soft cloth or applicator,” he said. “Let the wax sit for a few minutes before buffing it off with a clean microfiber cloth.”
For extra shine, use a polishing compound and cloth to polish the headlights!
Matthews Tire Pre-Trip Inspection
Once you’re finished spring cleaning your vehicle, a Matthews Tire pre-trip inspection can provide peace of mind and help prevent breakdowns and accidents during summer road trips.
“Let us do the work for you. Schedule a pre-trip inspection here at Matthews,” Craig suggested. “We’ll check your vehicle’s steering, suspension, fluids, belts, hoses, brakes, tire condition and tire pressure. The service is fairly inexpensive for the peace of mind it provides.”
Schedule Your Vehicle’s Pre-Trip Inspection
Bring your car in for a thorough pre-trip inspection and let us help you take those summer road trips with confidence.