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The clocks have gone back; the sun has made an appearance (even if briefly); the days are brighter; and Easter is nearly here. So that means that it must be Spring, and time to give your car a good spring clean.
And who better to give us a few tips as to how to get it done than Britain’s top advanced driver and IAM chief examiner, Peter Rodger?
Peter suggests 7 ways to get your car set up properly for the summer months when the days are lighter, the weather is warmer and people can actually see your car – so you’ll want it looking good.
First up, let’s give the car a good overall clean and get rid of the salt and general muck that will corrode the bodywork if left on it. It’s probably a good idea to go to a car wash that dies under-car cleaning just to make sure that ever trace of the stuff is removed.
Nice weather brings it problems, and none more so than that which causes major problems for hayfever sufferers – the UK pollen season. So replacing your car’s pollen filter at the start of your spring clean is a must; and keeping the air-conditioning tip-top will also help.
When it comes to the air-conditioning unit, give it a service because mould can build up inside it over the winter months, and if there is a stale smell when you turn it on, it’s a good sign that that is the case.
The summer season is also flies season, and although a spring clean will get rid of the first wave, driving around in the summer will catch a lot more as the fly suicide squad hit windscreens at high speed. So get that washer fluid topped up, and it’s a good idea to give headlamps and windscreens a quick wash when you fill up at petrol stations just to make sure that every bit of the fly is gone from your car.
And speaking of windscreens, it’s a good move to replace your wipers as part of your spring clean. They’ve been working really hard all winter and are probably tired, dirty and worn out. So even though it’s a bit cruel to send them to the great windscreen wiper graveyard in the sky, rest assured that it is for the best. It’s what they would have wanted.
Still within the engine, although it may seem a little unusual, keep your anti-freeze topped up. According to the IAM, anti-freeze contains corrosion inhibitors so going without it could lead to expensive engine damage.
And finally, after having encountered many of the road surfaces across the UK infested with potholes during the winter, it’s also a good idea to get your wheel and tyre alignment checked out: not just for safety reasons but also because tyres that are misaligned wear out quicker.
Peter Rodger said: “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.”
Peter’s tips are also back up by Owen Shepherd, Head of Service & Parts Operations at Skoda, who said: “Following such a prolonged spell of wet weather, many of the UK’s cars have taken a real battering this winter. Most drivers have had to endure challenging conditions which have really put their cars to the test. The Spring Health Check [that Skoda offer to their clients] is designed to ensure that motorists continue to stay safe and that vehicles are in the best possible condition as we approach the summer months.”
They added in checking Fluid Top-ups that include oil and power steering lubricant, a battery check, tyre check, brakes check, and light bulbs check – all of which are an essential part of checking in any season.
Happy Summer Motoring!