There is more to spring than mild temperatures and blooming flowers. It’s also the season for refreshing your home and landscape, hence the term, “spring cleaning.” Your vehicle can also benefit from a deep cleansing. Use these tips to spring clean your car before the weather heats up.
Every vehicle owner knows that cars can get messy, especially when no organization system is present. First, declutter, using separate bags for trash and any items you still want to keep in your car. Once you’ve decluttered the car, purchase a trash can, trunk organizer, and other organizational products to help control clutter. Purchase a coupon folder for essentials (e.g., registration, insurance card, roadside assistance card, emergency numbers (in case your phone battery dies)) and store in your glove box.
Clean and Polish
After decluttering, spruce up your interior, starting by thoroughly vacuuming the carpets and upholstery. Use different attachments to get into tight spaces and for delicate surfaces. While you have the vacuum out, use a hard-bristled brush to clean your vents, vacuuming the dust up while you work. Next, wipe down your entire dashboard, console and around the steering wheel. Apply a protectant to these surfaces as well as any leather upholstery. This will help prevent sun damage.
Wash and Wax
Using warm water and a car wash solution (using dish soap is not recommended), thoroughly wash your car, working from top to bottom. Use the two-bucket method – one bucket for warm soapy water and the other for clean water – along with two separate sponges or microfiber cloths. Waxing your car after washing can add shine and help protect the paint. Consumer Reports recommends using liquid wax products. For best results, always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Deep Clean the Carpets and Upholstery
Spring is also a great time to use a portable carpet cleaner to deep clean your vehicle’s carpets and upholstery. Fill a bucket with hot water, dishwashing detergent, and a cup of white vinegar. Use a hard bristle brush to agitate the fibers. Let sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing with water and blotting dry. You may need to crack the windows overnight to ensure it complete dries. Clean leather with a cloth soaked in water and a low-pH soap. Allow to thoroughly dry. Condition for added protection.
Inspect and Replace Wiper Blades
Damaged or worn wiper blades can reduce driving visibility during spring showers. Check your wiper blades for any signs of wear and tear or improper contact with your windshield semi-annually. Reference your owner’s manual for correct blade length. You can find replacement blades for under $20/each at most any auto parts store, big box retailer, and warehouse store.
Go Hands Free (it’s now the law in many cities)
There are drivers who think it’s alright to drive down a highway with a phone in their hands. They scroll social media, type out mile long texts, and even play games. Other drivers try to maneuver away from the distracted driver, hoping to put themselves a safe distance away, which is no easy feat in rush hour traffic. Distracted driving is a nationwide problem that, in 2016, claimed the lives of 3,450 people.
After an increase in accidents involving distracted drivers, many cities throughout the Valley are enforcing hands-free cellphone use; anyone caught holding a phone is subject to a steep fine. Arizona is currently considering a statewide ban as well. Drivers should assume that all cities have hands-free ordinances and use a wireless charging mount coupled with Android Auto or Apple Car Play. Hands-on activities can wait!
Review Your Insurance Policies
The Insurance Information Institute recommends checking your insurance policies (i.e., home, auto, life) annually to make sure everything is up to date. You may also want to compare your rates with other companies; you may even find a better rate. If you’ve recently purchased a new car, you risk being underinsured or over insured, depending on the age, make and model of your new vehicle unless you report the change to your independent insurance agent.
As an independent insurance agent, Hegarty-Haynes Insurance, Inc. is committed to providing our customers with superior service and solid insurance solutions at competitive rates. Contact us today at (480) 820-2297 for a free auto insurance quote.