It’s that time of the year again!
An end to the dreary days of drizzle and driving with the windows up! Winter has been and gone, no need to worry about the gritters, and better yet, no fear of ice on the roads – it’s springtime in England, and we can finally get back on track, and enjoy driving the way our cars intended – with the top down, enjoying the sun and the scenery. Here at EASR, we strive to help our customers, even when you’re not in our specialised repair garages, that is why we like to offer some of the best advice for you and your vehicle!
If there is one thing we notice during the winter period, it’s that our cars tend to turn into safe havens from the cold and the rain – they’re perfect for it when you think about it, almost like your own house on wheels! Cosy and warm on the inside, the ability to listen to the radio or a podcast as you drive through sleet and snow – however, there is always one caveat to being comfy in our cars – they do get rather ‘lived in’!
After a while, the comfort and convenience of our vehicles start to show, and without the weather to do a deep clean ourselves, and often not having the luxury of taking it to the cleaners, our once pristine motors are transformed into harbingers of empty food packages, muddy shoes and a seemingly endless amount of crumbs – and that’s not even mentioning the effects of grit, dirt and sleet on the exteriors of our vehicles.
So to celebrate the turning of the seasons, and join in with this year’s homemakers, we want to make sure you can enjoy the return of spring, the sun and the breeze with our own spring car cleaning guide!
Upholstery and Fabrics
There’s really nothing worse than looking over your upholstery and catching a glimpse of what managed to hide its way in the crevices, let alone the muckiness of your car’s footwells if you have carpeting.
You want to start dry – get rid of any large crumbs or clumps of dirt with a brush, and suck them up with the hoover! The last thing you want to do is rehydrate all that dried dirt!
After you’ve gotten the main culprits out the way, just prioritise the smaller jobs first – any general scuffs, stains or scratches, maybe from muddy shoes or food items, can be lifted right off the upholstery with a damp cloth. Then move on to stains that require a carpet cleaner, perhaps a spilt drink made its way into the footwell, or a particularly muddy walk stained the carpet!
From this point, slowly tackle the more invasive stains, perhaps a broken ink pen has leaked on your seat – it is here a dilute mixture of rubbing alcohol might be applied to lift those spots right out – just remember to wipe down the spot after with pure water.
The amount of dirt and grime that can gum up our vehicle’s dashboard is really quite surprising – other than the steering wheel or the gear stick, it’s the part of the interior our hands come into contact with the most!
This is where we start having to be a bit more careful – electronics and water are famously not very good friends, and the last thing we want to do is short out any of our car’s interfacing systems.
Lightly dampen a cloth, and wipe down all the surfaces – but do not forget to dry! Remember to get behind the steering wheel, cotton buds or toothpicks are really good at getting the grime out of rubber trimming and tight corners!
People seem to always forget about the boot – often, we think, because people realise how dirty it can get back there, especially if you are a pet owner! Often carpeted, our tips from the upholstery and fabric section apply here too.
If your car has a spare wheel well or compartment that can be accessed via the boot, make sure you lift the hatch and clean that out, as a lot of dirt and detritus often get vibrated down in there, and sometimes even worse, liquids, which can eventually rust through the bottom, or ruin a spare tire!
The Exterior and Wheels
Here comes the big job – if you’ve read our Hidden Hazard Helper, you’ll know how winter-time road debris, including grit and natural material, can really impact your vehicle’s exterior – while many of us settle for just a light cleaning of the paintwork and windows, without the proper care and attention, our cars can suffer if the remnants of winter are not properly cleaned!
Make sure the first clean is a deep one – mix speciality car cleaner or detergent with water – never use solvents not made for your car’s exterior, as it will strip the coating clean off your car!
Many people often overlook the cracks and crevices of the exterior of our cars – i.e. the wheel arches, the interiors of the doors, the gaps around the bonnet and beneath the rear and front bumpers – make sure to hit these parts hard, as these are always where dirt and moisture get trapped and lead to rusting.
So there you have it!
Hopefully, there’s something here to inspire you to get back on track and get your vehicle in tip-top shape! However, there are some things we just can’t do at home, those dents, scuffs and scratches on your car’s bodywork and alloys won’t disappear with any home care technique!
That’s why all our specialists at EASR are the best in the business when it comes to alloy wheel restoration, paintless dent removal, car and van customisation and paint care and so much more – if this winter’s been too hard on your vehicle, book a consultation to see what we can do for you – fill out the form on our website, calling us 0330 111 0203, or feel free to email us at [email protected]