Drive that spring feeling beyond your house and garden by getting your car ‘summer ready’ with some quick and easy tips from the Automobile Association (AA). This will not only give your car a refresh, but also help maintain its value.
Keeping things clean
Getting to those hard to reach places is critical. Hose down the entire underside of the car, paying particular attention to the front and rear wheel arch areas. When dry, inspect for any signs of damage to the under body sealing compound. If the vehicle's under a long-term corrosion warranty, bear in mind that the terms might specify how such repairs should be carried out.
Also, while checking the wheel arches, ensure you take a look at your tyre tread. The legal minimum for tread depth is 1mm, but our recommendation is to replace tyres at 3mm for safety purposes.
Bringing back the shine
Bringing back the sparkle is simple. Wash away the winter grime using a suitable car shampoo. Start on the roof, work your way down and around the car. Pay particular attention to door undersides and sills. Rinse off all shampoo before drying the car.
Once done, take this opportunity to attend to any minor areas of rust and stone chips. Small stone chip touch-up kits are available from most accessory shops and provide an excellent finish. Using polish will not only add some shine but also offer paint work protection, restore loss of gloss on older vehicles and help in reducing fuel consumption by reducing drag.
Bringing back that new car smell
Let’s face it, when your car is clean and fresh you enjoy driving it just that much more. Some planning is needed though. Ensure you have the right cleaning products for your upholstery, trim and roof linings. Choose a sunny day, open the windows and turn on the radio.
When cleaning, limit the amount of water used and check for potential corrosion under carpets from rain water penetration.
Taking care of your engine and keeping it clean is vital. Prior to any long journey and ideally every week, you should check your oil, radiator and windscreen washer levels as well as your tyre pressure, including your spare. Your vehicle handbook will clearly outline how to do all of these.
Also, test how the type of fuel you put into your car affects its performance - a simple change could make a difference to your monthly fuel cost and your engine.
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1180