How To Give Your Car New Sparkle In Spring

Car care isn’t necessarily a high priority during the winter.

But a break in the weather reveals the mud splatter and grime harsh weather left behind.

“All winter you’re taking steps to make sure your battery starts each morning and having the right tires to deal with snow and ice,” said Mike Deddo, a senior chemist for Turtle Wax. “Then spring comes around and you’re thinking ‘My car’s a mess, what am I gonna do?’”

Canadians are familiar with heavy snowfall and with road salts, which are sprayed on streets and highways by maintenance crews.

While salts melt snow and clear roadways, they can also destroy paint and the undercarriage.

“Salt builds up the worst in the corners of the floor wells,” Deddo said. “After a point it stops looking like individual pieces of salt and becomes one big, continuous crystal.”

Removing road salts from the paint requires a thorough washing--not just rinsing it off. Deddo doubles or even triples the amount of auto soap in the wash bucket when removing salt and grime.

Deddo offered the following four tips for restoring your vehicle’s luster this spring:

  • Wheels. Rinse the wheel wells and remove grime from exterior surface will help protect your vehicle and return the luster.
  • Floor mats. If vinyl, use dish soap and warm water. Cloth mats require vacuuming and spot treatments or replacement.
  • Paint. Don’t be afraid of adding more soap to the wash bucket. It’s gentle, and you may find it easier to remove built-up grime.
  • Under the hood. Wiping down the engine and hoses with a damp cloth makes the area look better and allows heat and air to move around in a cleaner environment.