Now that the snowbanks have melted away, mostly, it is time to take a look at your ride and help it recover from a tough winter. Here are three smart ways to help your car help you.
Wash Your Undercarriage
That sounds like the title of a Redd Foxx album, but what we mean is, wash the underside of your car. Salt and road de-icing chemicals build up there and can be removed with a garden hose. If your knees can’t take that, most car washes offer an undercarriage blast. Pay the extra three bucks, and you will be helping to maintain your ride long term. We all knew it, but NHTSA recently confirmed that salt doesn’t just eat your bodywork, it also can eat your brake lines. So wash your car’s bottom.
Fix Your Paint Chips
You don’t need to be a master mechanic to fix chips in your car’s paint from salt and sand. We recently went into the fine details on how to do this properly. It is not expensive, and it is truly a great way to preserve your car’s paint and prevent corrosion.
Check Your Tire Pressure
You may be surprised to find it is higher than required. We could get all technical and cite Boyles Law and such, but basically as gasses warm up they want to expand. Check your tires’ pressure once temperatures settle into the spring range and you may be letting some air out. That is if you put some in last fall.
Wash and Wax
I have friends and neighbors that never or rarely wax their cars. If you are going to do this only rarely, now is the best time. Waxing will preserve the clearcoat on your car and make it much easier to clean over the coming summer. If you are not able to do it yourself most car washes and every car dealer will do the job right for about $100 to $150. It is well worth the money.
Remove the Mats and Vacuum the Carpets
All winter you have been dragging salt and deicing chemicals into your car on your boots. Left to settle under your floor mats you are only asking for your floors to rot out, like these rusted out Nissan Altimas we covered in a recent story. Just like the waxing, most places will do this for you and it is often part of the waxing special.
(Image Source: Dana Ford Lincoln and YouTube)