Is Your Car Ready for Summertime Driving?

Seems like here in the Twin Cities we just launched into spring, and now summer is just around the corner.  Here’s how to get your vehicle ready for those weekend getaways, vacation drives, and summertime road trips.  Of course, it goes without saying that routine washing is necessary, but once you’ve got that taken care of, here are some additional things you can do.

Wax Your Car To Bring Out the Beauty

Once you’ve got a clean car, next comes the wax.  Wax applies best on a cool surface, and since hot and/or direct sunlight causes it to dry quickly.  For detailed information on waxing in the shade, see this article.  If your car has a clear auto bra product installed on it, you may notice some buildup along the edge of the protective film when you apply your wax; simply use your cloth to remove it before it dries.  If you notice your wax jobs don’t last long, you may need to use a specialized car product called a paint cleaner.  This product will prep the painted surface to remove anything regular washing left behind.  Your wax job will last longer and look better.

It’s an Inside Job

The interior of your car needs attention to both stains and odors.  Since driving around all winter with the windows closed has most likely left an unpleasant, stale aroma inside your auto, getting it freshened up will make you and your passengers happier, especially on long drives.  The main cause of unpleasant smells inside your car is bacteria; bacteria tend to grow in carpeting especially, so cleaning your floor carpeting and mats will go a long way to removing odors.  Once your carpet is clean, have it treated with Scotchgard to resist odor-causing stains from settling in.

Next, clean your upholstery and the interior of your car.  If you’ve got leather seats, be sure to use a product that specifically states it can be used on leather; other products can dry and crack leather.  Once your seats are clean, we again recommend you have them treated with Scotchgard to keep them that way.

Don’t Forget the Wheels

Clean car wheels get attention, but just rinsing them down or sloshing with a soapy sponge won’t do the job.  You’ll need to scrub them well, using a tire cleaner for the rubber and a wheel cleaner for the metal.  Your wheels have picked up a lot of gunk and residue from this past winter, especially if you drive on salted or deicer-treated roads.  Once your wheels are clean, a metal polish and sealant can keep them looking shiny.

Pay Attention to the Trim

UV rays can cause plastic and rubber car trim to fade or turn gray.  Once you’ve got them clean, a plastic sealant can bring the look back closer to original condition, and then protect it from further deterioration.

One more thing.  If your car doesn’t already have a clear auto bra protecting its front end, you may want to consider professional installation of the best product we know of – 3M premium paint protection film.  That way the most vulnerable areas of  your clean and shiny car will be protected from chips and scratches as you hit the road this summer.