As the days become slightly longer and - thankfully - the weather warms up, it becomes the perfect time to give your car a well-earned going over.
We’ve been provided with some of the best cleaning products on sale today to give a car a thorough cleaning. We’ll also look at some other areas that can help lift your vehicle out of the darkness of winter and towards the summer.
:: Grab the bucket and sponge
It may sound simple, but it’s one of the easiest things to do. Over winter, cars accumulate all manner of grime, as well as a lot of salt from gritting trucks. It can play havoc with a vehicle’s paintwork, as well as reducing the life of its bodywork. We’ve been trying out AutoGlym’s shampoo conditioner to try and remove the worst of the muck off our subject. In truth, the BMW we’re cleaning is exceptionally grubby, so it’s good to see this product really works to remove almost all of the surface grime. It takes a bit of effort, but just giving the exterior of the car a once over can work wonders.
:: Oil and filters
This one is best completed by a mechanic. Engines, especially like the diesel one fitted to our car, generate a lot of muck and grime. What does this mean? It can increase emissions, as well as lowering fuel economy and performance. Giving your car an oil and filter service can transform the way it drives, and is a procedure well worth undertaking if you’re looking to keep your car in tip-top form.
:: Tyre treatment
It’s easy to forget about your tyres. Over winter, they can - believe it or not - become dry and cracked, which can lead to them deteriorating quicker than usual. High Performance Tyre Gel, again from Autoglym, helps preserve the tyre’s exterior. It’s also a breeze to apply, and can be used to create either a high or low gloss sheen. Pay attention to the alloys too, as these pick up a lot of grime over the winter.
:: Check air conditioning
Though it’s still not so warm outside, now is a good time to check the efficiency of your air conditioning system. As the car’s heaters are predominantly used over the winter months, the air conditioning - especially in older cars like the one we see here - doesn’t get used all that much. That’s why it’s important to check that the cold air is still blowing strongly. If not, it’s an inexpensive fix to running correctly. Specialists are widespread across the country to solve the problem, though do-it-at-home kits are also available from motor factors.
:: A bit of spit and polish
Though breaking out the bucket and sponge is easier, using polish is a slightly trickier affair. Traditional polishes tend to require a lot of elbow grease, as well as the use of a rotary polisher. However, Autoglym’s Rapid Aqua Wax can be used directly on a wet car, bringing your car to a shine with very little work. It’s ideal for situations where a full wax simply takes too much time - and it also continues to protect the car’s paintwork. However, if you’re looking for an even greater shine, then the High Definition Wax is another good choice. Though it’s easy to simply put your pride and joy through a car wash, there’s something immensely satisfying about doing it yourself. It’s also a good time of year to do so, as any vehicle that has been on the roads over the winter period has been subjected to some harsh conditions which can really affect the way a car looks. Ensure that you protect the exterior, as well as maintaining the mechanical parts, and your car should keep going for many years to come.