How to undo winter’s worst and ready your car, truck, or SUV for the summer months ahead…

Spring-cleaning isn’t just for homes. Now that winter has relinquished its grip and temperatures are warming, it is the perfect time to clean and prepare your vehicle for the summer months ahead. Here are some quick spring car cleaning tips from Saundra Massingille of the GM Service Learning Center.

Clean Salt Off Your Underbody

Washing your car is essential, but this spring, consider washing more than just its exterior body panels, especially if you drive in areas that salt snowy roads. Salt spray can accumulate on the underside of a vehicle and, if left untouched, can promote or accelerate rust. We recommend using plain water to flush the underbody of these deposits at least once a year.

Clean Salt Off Your Carpeting

Salt doesn’t just accumulate underneath your vehicle – if you traipsed through snow or a slushy parking lot before hopping inside, it may build up on your carpeting and floormats, leaving an unsightly white residue. Fortunately, this is fairly easy to remove. Mix a solution with equal parts hot water and distilled white vinegar, apply the mixture to the stained area, and scrub with a stiff brush. If the stain persists, consider using a concentrated cleaner, like the heavy-duty carpet and stain remover available at Hosick Motors.

Lubricate Your Hinges

A squeaky wheel gets the grease, but a squeaky hinge? Well, consider lubricating your door hinges, hood hinges, fuel door hinges, trunk hinges, door strikers, hood releases, and other non-plastic components with a multi-purpose lubricant, like GM’s SuperLube to prevent rust and eliminate squeaks.

Lubricate Your Door Seals And Weatherstripping

They may not be mechanical components, but your car’s door seals and weatherstripping also needs to be lubricated. These rubber moldings and gaskets act as seals, and help keep wind, water, and other elements out of your vehicle. They work best when they’re soft and pliable, so regularly wiping them down with either a dielectric lithium grease or a specialized cleaner like GM’s own weatherstrip lubricant ensures they seal properly.

Change Your Wiper Blades

April showers might bring May flowers, but if nothing else, they’ll force you to use your wipers more frequently. Generally speaking, it’s good to replace your wiper blades once every six months, but be proactive and ensure your blades are in good shape. If you’ve noticed them streaking or skipping while wiping, you might be due for new blades, but consider a replacement if you notice cracks in the rubber squeegee insert, or if the insert doesn’t easily flex and conform to your windshield.

Check Your Tires

Tire pressures change with ambient temperatures. If you found yourself adding air to your tires in the cold of winter, you may need to reduce pressure once temperatures rise again. Overinflating a tire not only worsens ride quality, but also reduces the tire’s contact patch with the ground, potentially reducing grip. Refer to the tire pressure label placed within the driver’s doorjamb for your vehicle’s proper pressures. While you’re at it, visually inspect your tires for dry rot, sidewall bulges, and ensure tread depth is still at an acceptable level.