As the weather continues to warm up, it is time for drivers to put away their ice scrapers. This is also the time to begin cleaning their rides of the dirt, salt, and other bits of debris that cover their vehicles whenever there are ice and snow on the ground.
First, run the car, truck, or SUV through an automatic car wash. It is the best way to remove the majority of the road soil on the exterior.
Second, hand washes the exterior with soap or cleaner designed to remove soil and grime from a vehicle. These cleaners are made to be efficient but do not scratch or dull automotive paint and chrome. If you cannot perform the task yourself, or simply do not have the time. Find a reputable detailing service to do it for you.
Third, clean the entire underside of the whole car. This is where the majority of the nasty looking snow and ice finds its way onto the car to damage it. The winter mix contains dirt, gravel, salt, and other road-clearing chemicals which cake onto the muffler, exhaust pipe, wheel wells, and axels. It looks bad, but the real problem happens underneath it all; rust.
Regular washing can help avoid rust issues throughout the year, but it takes extra effort to remove every bit of the winter mix before it creates those initial, tiny rusts spots. Unless you have a lift and a power washing wand in your garage, it is best to run it through an automatic car wash. Most can quickly remove the winter mix and are far quicker than trying to accomplish it as home.
Fourth, check under the hood. Most car and truck owners don’t look under the hood except as part of showing off a brand new auto purchase. However, everything that works its way into the underside of the car also gets into the engine compartment. An automatic car wash can remove that, but the grime, leaves, sticks, and other debris that find its way in underneath the hood need to be cleaned out from the top down; after that, wiping down the engine is enough.
Finally, clean out the interior! Get rid of the trash you left inside because it was too cold to gather up and throw out. It is also a good time to remove the extra coats and other winter gear from the trunk. Then, examine the seats and carpet for stains. Use a cleaner design for automobile fabrics to prevent spotting or color leeching.
If you find anything that is hanging loose, seems out-of-place, or looks odd, bring it into a professional automobile service. Over time, straps can loosen a bit or seals on the door frames deteriorate. Even the lifting arms on the trunk age and allow the lid to fall more easily. A good cleaning helps you to keep your car or truck rolling down the road, and not just looking good in the driveway.