Car Care

How about that spring clean?


With spring just around the corner, now is an ideal time to check over your vehicle and take stock of what the winter months and lockdown-reduced usage may have done to your vehicle.

If your vehicle is normally parked outdoors, it may now be covered in winter’s grime and could even have lichen or small weeds growing in small crevasses that must be removed before the summer sun comes into full force.

Exterior

A $20 wash will only get you so far, but the trick to keeping your vehicle sparkly clean is in the details. If you have the time and the products, you can get that showroom shine back in no time.

Without regular cleaning, conditioning and treatment, your vehicle’s shimmering exterior is prone to fading, cracking and peeling. The paintwork can also be affected by things like UV damage, road grime and bird droppings.

How often a vehicle needs to be cleaned and detailed is dependent upon how often the vehicle is driven, the conditions it’s exposed to and the length of time it spends sitting under the sun. It’s more about getting the most protection on to your vehicle’s surface and creating a ‘barrier’ against things that can harm the paintwork. We recommend using a vehicle exterior protection polish like Flitz Polish Paste, which you can purchase online from aa.co.nz/shop.

At the time of writing, Auckland is under a restriction on water usage, meaning only a bucket of water can be used to wash your vehicle, not a hose.

Interior

Unless you park next to a giant dehumidifier, the chances are that some moisture has entered your vehicle over the winter months, especially if you park outdoors.

Portable moisture absorbers like Damp Rid are great; just pop one inside the vehicle for a few days and you’ll be amazed at how much moisture is removed. Alternatively, wait for a hot sunny day, open all the doors and let the sun do its work.

Give the internal surfaces a clean with some automotive wet wipes to get rid of dust and grime than may have accumulated, especially around frequented areas like cup holders. Try to avoid shiny silicones on the dash under the windscreen as they may cause the surface to reflect the sun more than normal. If you’re using a spray, be careful not to smear the inside of the glass.

Did you know that the average Auckland motorist can spend up to 20 working days each year in their vehicle stuck in traffic alone, and that’s not even including driving time?

Check for any empty drink bottles or coffee cups lying around. Vehicles can quickly become cluttered with rubbish, circulars, clothing and who knows what else. Clutter not only diminishes the appeal of your vehicle, but it also creates safety hazards and projectiles in the event of an emergency. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner suitable for your vehicle, you can use the commercial ones located at most service stations for just a few dollars.

Often the biggest source of clutter can come from items that are only needed temporarily. We’re talking sports equipment, camping gear, and the odd road trip supply. Keep these items in convenient containers and store in accessible areas of your home or garage. The easier these items are to access (load and unload), the more inclined you will be to only bring these along when they’re needed. Removing heavier items will also increase your fuel economy.  

For safety purposes, ensure the driver’s area is a clutter-free zone.  Nothing should ever be able to fall near the driver’s feet and impede the use of the pedals. If you’re in the habit of kicking off your shoes or jandals, make sure they are well under your seat, or better still, pop them behind your seat for easy access later.

Floor mats also need to be considered. If you have more than one, they’re not secured or the correct fit, then the mat can affect the pedal operation which can sometimes hinder the brake or unintentionally press the accelerator pedal.

Clutter in a vehicle is not just a physical nuisance - it can affect your ability to focus. Keeping your vehicle organised not only looks and feels good, but it can increase mental concentration on the road (and reduce stress!). So, keep the vehicle well organised to create a pleasant, safe driving experience that you and your passengers can enjoy.

Be sure to visit aa.co.nz/shop to view a selection of products perfect for your vehicle’s spring clean!

Fancy a Spring Service?

Book a Silver, Gold or Platinum Service™ at an AA Auto Centre between 7 September and 16 October 2020 and save up to $40!* Visit aa.co.nz/springservice for more information.

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