Preparing your vehicle for spring can help to wash off that winter grime and ensure that you’re ready for the warmer weather in terms of both safety and comfort. Weather conditions can be very changeable in spring, so it’s an ideal time to think about the range of conditions you’ll encounter and to make sure you and your vehicle are fully fit. Below are some of our top tips to pass onto your drivers about ensuring their vehicles are ready to go:
- Clear out the clutter. Coats, boots, scarves and de-icing equipment that took up permanent residence in the colder months will take up space and add unnecessary weight that will hurt your fuel economy.
- Clean off the salt. Whilst modern vehicles are less prone to rust, corrosion-causing salt from gritted roads can build up in the wheel arches and the suspension. It’s worth using a hose pipe or pressure washer to remove anything that’s built up during the winter. Or, how about treating your car to a professional valet?
- Keep your windscreen clear. Using the demister puts a film of grime from traffic fumes on the inside of the windscreen which can spread bright sunshine into a blinding glare. Get the screen squeaky clean with water and detergent, dry with a microfibre cloth and crystal-clear vision will be restored. Don’t forget the other windows; clean screens rarely mist up so you’ll need the heated rear window far less – another fuel saver.
- Keep hay fever at bay. If you’re one of the estimated 1-in-5 people who suffer from the allergy, remember to get hold of your choice of hay fever remedy, and also to renew your pollen filter if your vehicle has one. They need changing periodically to remain efficient. Look in your handbook to find out how to get to the filter and if it looks bad, change it now. Some very good after-market filters are available online, often with a charcoal layer to filter out pollutants as well as pollen.
- Check your air conditioning. With newer vehicles the chances are your air conditions won’t need any attention for the first couple of years. However, if your air conditioning does start to leak and no longer produces cold air it could be time to get the system “re-gassed” before the hot weather really sets in; a simple job which most garages have the equipment to do.
IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman said: “In conjunction with other spring cleaning treat your vehicle, the efforts to wash and polish it will last a bit longer now the winter salt has gone. Now is a good time to spend a therapeutic Sunday morning tinkering.”