Next stop on the spring cleaning list is your car. Do you pretty much live in your car? Spring is a great time to get all the food wrappers, mud and salt out of the car and get it spruced up for the rest of the year.
It used to be you’d need to get an oil change in the spring to move the winter-weight oil out of your engine. With the newer motor oils, there’s no need to change your oil between summer and winter-weights, but it is a good time to check to see if you are overdue for an oil change. Take a look at the manufacturer’s suggested oil change schedule and make sure you’re within the number of miles or months between oil changes and get it scheduled.
Next? How are your tires? You needed good tires for the winter but they can take a beating. Make sure they’ve got enough air in them and the treads are still solid. Spring is a good time to replace your tires if you haven’t in a while. Speaking of tires, if you’re living where it snows, trade out your snow tires for regular road tires. Before you put away your snow chains, make sure they’re still in good condition and replace them now, if needed, so you’re not caught by a freak snowstorm later this spring or early next fall.
While you’re on the tires, it’s probably time to get them rotated, too. Regularly rotating your tires will keep them from wearing unevenly, which could cause an accident.
Go through your car and gather all your winter gear, like your windshield scraper, the extra cat litter or sand you’ve been carrying around in the back of your vehicle, your shovel and your winter emergency kit. replace your winter kit with a spring/summer emergency kit. Replace anything that’s missing since last year, including a reflective blanket, several bottles of water, a first-aid kit and sunscreen. Pack your winter emergency kit where you can grab it easily next fall.
Now, start with the carpet and upholstery in your car. They’ve been exposed to salt, snow, rain and dirt over the winter and need a little extra TLC. Vacuum everything well. If you can, use a carpet-cleaning machine to clean the cloth-covered surfaces of the inside of your car, including the carpets, then wipe down any leather or plastic seats. Clean and protect your harder surfaces, like your dashboard, console and steering wheels.
Most cars have pockets in the back of the front seats along with door bins; you never know what you’ll find in there. If you’re like most, there will be food wrappers, a few straws and the occasional coin. Get everything out of there, wipe them down and make sure there’s nothing valuable before you throw stuff away. Go through your glove compartment, too; throw away any old insurance cards and unnecessary papers, saving business receipts and other documentation that needs to be kept.
Clean your windows, inside and out. Cleaning the inside of your windshield can be a pain; there’s a new kind of sponge just for that purpose and you can pick it up at most big box retailers and auto supply stores. Remember to clean the inside of the side windows as well so you can see clearly through all windows.
How are your windshield wipers? In areas where it snows, you might have put winter wipers on; change them back to regular wiper blades for the spring/summer. And if you haven’t checked your wiper blades in a while, it’s probably a good idea to get new ones, especially if it’s been several years since the last time you checked them out.
Finally, a good car wash. Come on – your car has gotten you through the winter in great shape; it deserves a bath. Remember to wash the underside of the car and the back sides of the tires.
Got your car all taken care of? Good. Now, you can move into your bedroom – that’s next.