When cleaning and preparing your car for the spring, you’ve got to take into account not just this season’s weather but also the impact the winter has just had on your car.
The chief examiner at the Institute of Advance Motorists (IAM), Peter Rodger, points out: "After a long winter of wear and tear from snow, salt and potholes, your car needs attention. Preparing for the spring and making checks now can save you a lot of money in the long run.
"Deal with minor problems and repairs as they happen – they can become very expensive if left to build up over time." Here’s our guide to readying your car for spring time.
One thing to have in mind from the start is that probably due to the recent winter weather, salt from the season could be lingering on your car.
The trouble with this is that salt is corrosive and will cause rusting if left on the bodywork. If possible take your car to a car wash that specialises in under-car cleaning to get rid of every trace.
Another thing you may need to keep in mind of course is the UK pollen season. This can be pretty miserable for hayfever sufferers, so replacing your car’s pollen filter annually is a vital investment. Keeping your air-conditioning well maintained will help as well.
Servicing your air conditioning will also help your car to smell better. If on the other hand it smells stale when you turn the heating on, it could well be a sign that mould is building up in your condenser.
As we get deeper into the spring season, flies will soon be out in force. Therefore there’s a good chance that insects will be hitting your car’s windscreen, so be sure to refill your washer fluid to keep it clear. Habitually washing the windscreen and headlamps when you stop for fuel is also important as windscreen wipers won’t get rid of all the fly debris.
Another potential problem to deal with in the spring is old wiper blades on your car. These are not just noisy but they can also leave marks on the windscreen, so remember to replace them regularly. It’d be wise to clean them regularly to avoid damaging your windscreen.
It’s also a good idea to check your wheel and tyre alignments. This is especially recommended considering the number of potholes on the UK roads and the rate at which they are increasing due to the winter weather. If your car has misaligned tyres then not only will they wear out more quickly but this can lead to other serious damage to the vehicle. If your car has a misaligned wheel or tyre, then get it replaced at a trusted service garage.
A final tip to keep in mind is that anti-freeze contains corrosion inhibitors so you should keep your car topped up all year round. Going without this could lead to expensive engine damage in the long-term.