5 Ways to Prepare Your Car for Summer

Car Washing Image

‘Tis the season — for spring cleaning.

With warmer temperatures quickly approaching, many people have already packed away their winter clothes and started working on their annual household chores. I’ve really been looking forward to sprucing up the garage and scrubbing some baseboards with my family. Oh, wait… NOT!

For me, spring cleaning has a much different meaning. Sure, I may tidy up my room, put a few things into storage, and scrub ONE baseboard with a tooth brush, but if there’s one thing I can’t wait to do each April it’s clean my car. As you probably know, winter can be one the harshest seasons on your vehicle, especially when you live in the Midwest, where it snows, sleets, and all that other cold-weather jazz. It’s pretty inevitable that, in December, January or February, your car will be exposed to corrosive road salts, and plows will toss dirt and debris onto your vehicle while clearing ice and snow from the streets. To make matters worse, it’s too cold to rinse this junk off your car during the winter months, so it sits for weeks — maybe even months. Since the forecast doesn’t predict a blizzard within the next few days, now would be a good time to get out there and give your car a little TLC. To make it easy on you, I put together a list of simple and affordable ways to get your vehicle ready for summer. Oh, and according to Kelly Blue Book, regular cleaning and maintenance not only enhances the appearance of a vehicle, but helps maximize value, too!

The List

1. First things first.  Get out there and wash and wax that beast. A HAND WASH is highly recommended, as it gives you a chance to look over every square inch of your vehicle and spot any nicks, dings or scratches. While you’re at it, wash your tires and undercarriage, especially if you live in an area where it snows. The salt from the road can cause damage, which could lead to BIG problems in the future.

2. Vacuum the inside of the car like it’s your job. Take time to get all of the sand, salt, grit and other residue out of the carpet and seats. If you spot any pesky water stains, be sure to scrub the carpets too!

3. Clean the vinyl walls, doors and dashboard. These areas also get dirty, so don’t neglect them! You can even get pretty groovy and delve into all the cracks and crevices. Wipe down the windows and mirrors, inside and out.

4. Take that junk out of your trunk! When it’s cold, the trunk of my car turns into a closet. It’s stocked with jackets, gloves, scarves, boots, a few toys, and other miscellaneous things I decided to throw back there. Now that it’s spring, take the time to remove dead weight from your ride! Doing this will help your fuel economy.

5. Check your tires. Cold weather drastically affects air pressure in your tires, so make sure they’re at the proper levels. Not only is this extremely crucial during the winter, it’s important all year round and you can read why here.

There you have it. An immaculate vehicle. Of course, spring cleaning your car takes time, so be sure to block out a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday to tackle this tedious, yet rewarding task so your vehicle looks brand new. Always remember, when following any of the tips above, be sure to use a product that is safe for your vehicle and will not cause any damage.

Additional Car Care Tips

If you have any questions or need assistance with anything we mentioned in this post, give our service department a call at (513) 932-1010. You can also send us a message and a Lebanon Ford team member will be in contact with you.

Happy cleaning, everyone!


About Brittney French

Brittney is a journalist and media relations specialist who lives in St. Louis, Mo. When she's not blogging for Lebanon Ford, she is the author of a women's column and also writes about music, events, and St. Louis sports. Having little knowledge in the automotive industry, Brittney provides valuable insight on cars for those who may be in the same boat. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter @brittfrancois.