Your Guide To Spring Maintenance

Ah, spring is in the air! The days are getting longer, the snowdrifts are getting smaller, and your skin doesn't freeze in seconds any longer. It's time to get yourself out of winter mode and embrace the spring. As you're putting away your parka and mitts, something else needs your attention with the changing seasons -- your vehicle!

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It may be built Ford tough, but your car, truck, or SUV could use some freshening up this spring with car care. What spring maintenance does your vehicle need? Here's a guide to spring car cleaning from your local Ford dealer in Ottawa, Lincoln Heights Ford.

Take Care of the Outside

Winter driving is especially harsh on a vehicle's exterior. Road salt and sand stick to the outside of your Ford and get wedged in nooks and crannies. Left alone, it will begin to etch into the finish or dull the paint from scratches. A little car care goes a long way in the spring, and it all starts with a wash.

  • Use a touchless car wash or a wand wash to take the bulk of the salt, sand, and grime off the body. Avoid brushes, both in a wand wash and an automatic car wash, to prevent all of that aggregate material from scratching your Ford's beautiful paint job.
  • Tire and rim cleaner are best used when washing the brake dust and gunk off your shiny rims.
  • 'Elbow grease' goes a long way for lasting looks. Spend time with a car wash mitt, microfibre cloths, vehicle-specific car wash soap, and a chamois to wash and dry your car thoroughly.

Detail the Interior

Isn't it amazing how dirty your vehicle's interior can get just over the winter? There's dirt in the seat crevices, dust all over the dash, and you've started a collection of personal items in the backseat.

  • Start with a clean slate. Take everything out of your car that doesn't need to be there -- coffee cups, spare clothing, receipts, paper, and so on
  • Vacuum the upholstery. With a soft-bristled brush on the vacuum hose, pass over all the seats to agitate and remove loose dirt and crumbs. For stains, you may need to use a soft brush and fabric cleaner on the cloth. And it's a great time to moisturize and condition leather seats with a quality leather conditioner too.
  • Wipe hard surfaces down with an all-purpose interior cleaner and a microfibre cloth. Avoid cleaners that leave a shine -- the glare of it can be surprisingly bright and it can dry out vinyl and plastic.

Pay Special Attention to the Carpets

Dirt, salt, and sand work deep into carpet fibres. Over time, it causes added wear and tough-to-remove stains. Carpet care can be time-consuming, but your Ford will look great afterward.

  • A thorough vacuum is a necessity along with a car detailing toolkit or long nozzle to reach those narrow crevices of your car's interior.
  • You might want to rent a steam cleaner for disinfecting the seats, it's safe and non-toxic.

Clean the Glass

It's not just inconvenient to peer through dirty windows and mirrors -- it's ultimately dangerous! Clean windows will help you see the dangers on the road ahead before they cause you any trouble.

  • Don't take a chance on streaks being left behind. Use glass cleaners that are specified for automotive use.
  • Wipe in a vertical motion, then a second time in a horizontal direction. Wiping in circles is more likely to leave noticeable streaks in the sunlight.
  • Clean the glass last! Avoid the potential frustration of touching your freshly cleaned windshield with a dirty cloth or a rogue spray of all-purpose interior cleaner.

Whether you're driving a new model like the redesigned Ford Escape or an F-150 with a few years on the tires, a little spring maintenance, and car cleaning will help it last longer while looking great. Most of the products you need to detail your Ford can be found at the parts and accessories department in your local Ford dealer, Lincoln Heights Ford in Ottawa.

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