AAA Colorado’s Spring Cleaning Advice for Your Car

DENVER, March 20, 2015 – It’s the first day of spring, and as the weather begins to warm, many people pull out their spring cleaning checklist. AAA Colorado would like to remind you, it is also the perfect time to for spring cleaning your car.

AAA recommends performing the following maintenance tasks as part of your car’s spring cleaning:
Vehicle Interior

  • Vacuum regularly and lightly shampoo the carpets as needed. Don’t forget to clean under the seats where food and other debris can hide. Dirt remaining in the carpet greatly accelerates wear and road salt and De-icer from winter storms are especially damaging.
  • Add floor mats to protect your vehicle’s carpet. Vinyl floor mats are recommended in wet and snowy areas such as Colorado’s mountain towns.
  • Wipe down dusty or soiled surfaces with a damp cloth. Follow with a UV-protective coating on vinyl and rubber surfaces. A solution with a matte or semi-gloss finish is preferred on the dashboard to reduce reflections in the windshield. Be careful not to apply petroleum-based products to plastic surfaces; especially clear ones. If the interior has leather, use products designed for cleaning and maintaining this material.
  • Clean stains from seats and other interior surfaces promptly to prevent them from becoming set. Use a cleaner recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer to prevent fabric, vinyl or leather damage. Test any non-approved product in an inconspicuous spot before use to make sure it is safe.
  • With Colorado’s yearly 300 plus days of sun, consider having the windows tinted to cut down on infrared rays that cause heat buildup and ultraviolet rays that fade and damage interior materials. Over-darkening windshields and front seat windows can compromise visibility and is frequently illegal, so use appropriate materials.
  • Use protective flooring and seat covers when transporting pets or items with sharp edges that could gouge upholstery or carpeting.

Vehicle Exterior

  • As long as the temperature is above freezing, wash the vehicle approximately every two weeks. It is also important to wash vehicles that are covered with road salt or de-icer after the late season snow flurries. Use only car wash soap and a clean sponge or mitt. Never use dish detergent because it will strip the wax right off your car.
  • Wax your car at least twice a year with the year’s first wax being applied once the temperature is above 65 degrees. Wax can help restore and maintain the paint. Follow the instructions on the package, applying only a thin layer onto an applicator. Squirting it on directly can discolor the paint. And be sure to fully remove it. Waxing and polishing your car four times per year can help keep it in showroom condition.
  • Touch up any scratches with matching touch-up paint.
  • When washing the vehicle, be sure to rinse out the wheel wells and accessible areas of the undercarriage. This is especially important where salt is used on roads in the winter as it will help prevent rust.
  • Use care when removing bugs and tar to avoid damaging the clear coat or paint. Auto parts stores carry specialty products that can ease removal without causing damage.
  • Clean glass inside and out to ensure good vision. Use a product that does not leave streaks or cause glare.
  • Have small windshield chips repaired to prevent them from becoming cracks that require complete windshield replacement. Most such repairs can be made easily by an auto glass technician coming to the vehicle’s location.
  • Consider headlight restoration if the headlight lenses have developed a frosted yellow surface. This repair process restores a clear finish to the lens, which improves both vehicle appearance and nighttime vision. Do-it-yourselfers can purchase restoration kits at auto parts stores for approximately $20. Commercial services will typically do the job for between $50 and $100.


ABOUT AAA COLORADO

AAA Colorado has more than 600,000 members and is an advocate for safety and security for all travelers. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides over 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive related services, as well as member exclusive savings.