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durham region winter spring cleaning of car that says wash me

Canadian winters are tough on us and our vehicles. Now, with the worst of winter behind us it is time to wipe down all the salt and clean out vehicles from the inside out. Here is our step-by-step guide to put winter behind us and shift into the beautiful Canadian spring season:

Step 1: Clean Out the Trash

When you’re cleaning any car start by removing any build-up of ‘stuff’ Have a garbage bag and a “take inside” container near-by. Be thorough: Get under and beside the seats and in the trunk.

Step 2: Vacuum the Inside

To make best use of gravity, we find it best to work from the top down. Pull out the salt-caked floor mats for a quick pass with the vacuum. If you use the plastic mats through the winter and the material mats in the other 3-seasons we advise waiting a bit before making the switch as we enter the muddiest time of the year.

Then use a house or shop vac and a rigid tool such as a screwdriver to work dirt out of the creases.

Step 3: Scrub Carpet and Upholstery

This step will bring a fresh scent to how your car smells. Get a spray bottle of automotive-upholstery-and-carpet cleaner and a heavy-duty scrub brush to clean the soft parts of the interior. Spray the seats or anything cloth- covered; scrub, then wipe down. Repeat at least one more time, moving to the carpet for the same job. Being thorough with the carpet is important, as it can act like a filthy, salty, wet rag that accelerates rusting.

Step 4: Power-Wash the Floor Mats

The floor mats are without question the parts of the interior that take winter abuse the hardest. If you’ve got all-rubber floor mats, they won’t take long to clean, but carpeted mats will likely take two passes with a power washer to get all the salt and dirt out. To prevent mold, let all the mats dry fully before putting them back in.

Step 5: Swap Your Tires

Like many living in Canada and the Durham Region we own two sets of tires for all our vehicles. Driving on winter tires at this point lowers fuel efficiency and cause unnecessary tread-ware in the warmer weather. It is time to switch back to your summer or all-season tires. Give us a call at 905-432-1304 to arrange a time to get your other set of tires on. To learn more about tires visit our tire knowledge corner here.

Step 6: Ditch the Winter Wipers

Winter wipers can get pretty beaten up… many wipers are asked to perform above and beyond duty by breaking down and pushing away ice from windshields. The heavy rainfalls of spring could cause havoc – we suggest testing your wipers and if necessary changing them. If you’re not sure how to change your wipers, stop by our shop and we will show you.

Step 7: Lube the Hinges

Apply white lithium grease to each door, trunk, and hood hinge to prevent squeaking and premature wear.

Step 8: Clean the Windows

Ever notice how your windows fog up really bad during damp spring weather even after you clean them? First, wash your windows with a good car-window cleaner; the ammonia in household stuff will make the fogging worse. Fog has a harder time clinging to a clean surface, and you can go a step further by wiping down the interior of the glass with an antifogging agent.

dirty car needs cleaning

Step 9: Wash the Car

Moving to the outside! Do your normal top-down wash (not bottom-up) and look to take it a step further by finding autowash that provides an under-body spray. This will dislodge and rid the underside of your vehicle of any left over salt remains.

Step 10: Replace the Air Filter

This filter prevents things like dirt, pollen, and plant matter from entering the ventilation system. It actually gets dirtiest in the fall but most people wait until now to replace it. For a free check of your air filter system e-mail us by clicking here and let us know when you would like to come in.

Step 11: Don’t Forget the Trunk

It is time to remove the bag of salt or sand you put in your trunk through the winter. Remove winter gear from the car to improve fuel efficiency and create more storage room.

Step 12: Wipe Down the Entry

Stepping out of your vehicle and noticing your pants are dirty? It is time to wipe down the door entry in the sills. If you want to take it to the next level use a silicone spray to keep the door sills looking shiny.

DONE!

Extras

If you got to this point there are a few remaining things that are great to do for regular upkeep.
1) Use the dime method to inspect tire depth,
2) Test tire pressure – including the spare,
3) Change the oil,
4) Add washer fluid,
5) Pour a fuel-system cleaner in the fuel tank. Not sure of which one? Ask us, we have fuel-system cleaner available in our shop.

If you have any other questions please e-mail us at connect@prostreetautomotive.com

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