Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Car!

Did you know that one of the easiest ways to keep your vehicle safe is to keep it clean? We’re not just talking about the carpets, either. Everything from a washing up the undercarriage to taking a quick peek under the hood during your Spring cleaning can help improve the safety and long life of your car, truck, or SUV. Here at ProCare, our team is committed to making our roads safer, and that starts with giving drivers the tools they need to make it happen. This week, we’re giving you the ins and outs of Spring cleaning for your vehicle to keep you safe this season!

close up of blue car with dull headlight

Brighten your Headlights

Cleaning your vehicle’s interior is important, but caring for the outside is even more crucial to its overall performance. One area that frequently needs a good cleaning is the headlights. Foggy, cloudy plastic covering your headlights can lead to decreased visibility at night which is never a good situation to find oneself in. In most cases, your headlights can be restored. A professional repair shop can restore most headlights, or, for a short term fix, you can try a DIY option by scrubbing your headlights with toothpaste and wiping them clean! Unfortunately, this quick fix doesn’t last long before you’ll have to do it again, so calling a repair shop for restoration may be better in the long run. ProCare can restore your car’s headlight covers for about $75 per headlamp or $125 for both. Occasionally, headlights can’t be fixed and, in that case, they will need to be replaced.

mechanic changing wiper blades for spring cleaning

Trash Worn Out Wipers

Spring showers are to be expected in Omaha, so make sure your windshield wipers can keep your line of sight clear. During the winter, ice accumulation on windshield wipers can cause the rubber on them to fray. Then, when you’re stuck on the road in a heavy rainstorm, a huge streak is likely to appear, and it always seems to happen right where you need to see! New windshield wipers are very reasonably priced, and come with easy-to-install instructions. If you’re struggling to install your windshield wipers at home, many auto body shops will help you install them for no charge; just give a call, take the wipers in, and ask for assistance!

Take Care of Rusty Spots

No, not just the dings on your door that make your vehicle look unappealing (although you should touch that up, too). We’re more worried about the undercarriage of your vehicle. That’s where your car is most likely to develop rust damage over time, especially here in the Midwest. Salt from the winter roads can corrode the undercarriage of your vehicle, making it less safe to drive. If left without treatment, this corrosion can end up jeopardizing your exhaust systems, fuel tank, or even your brake lines according to a report by AccuWeather. Bring your car to a self-serve car wash instead of a drive thru to make sure your vehicle’s undercarriage gets fully cleaned. If you notice any damage that worries you, you may need to ask for some advice from a trusted repair shop.

Battery Corrosion, Be Gone!

Corrosion can build up on a car’s battery and start to block the electrical exchange through the cables. If the corrosion builds up too much, your battery may start to cut out sporadically: even while you’re driving if it gets bad enough. This is extremely unsafe, so while you’re cleaning your car for spring, check your battery for corrosion. If you see some buildup around the terminals, the first thing you should do is safely disconnect the battery (turn off the vehicle and disconnect first the negative, then the positive terminal). Inspect both your battery and the cables for cracks, fissures, and other damage, taking note of any compromised parts which need to be replaced. If your battery itself is cracked, you’ll want to replace it immediately, so don’t worry about cleaning it off. If everything looks undamaged, mix a paste with one tablespoon of baking soda and about a ¾ cup of water, then use an old toothbrush dipped in the mixture to scrub the top of the battery and the terminals until the corrosion is gone. Then, wipe everything clean and safely reconnect your battery (positive terminal first, then negative). Most auto body and repair shops also sell special lubricants which are safe for batteries and prevent corrosion if your problem is a persistent one.

mechanic adding engine coolant to car

Keep It Cool

As the weather warms, it’s important to check your car’s cooling system. While you could opt for a full service checkup, for spring cleaning you can stick with the four Cs of checking your cooling system: coolant level, cracking, clamps, and color. First, ensure your coolant is at the correct level, and add more accordingly. When adding coolant, do NOT attempt to open the reservoir cap until your car is completely cooled. This is imperative, as removing the cap before your vehicle has had time to release the pressure can lead to serious injury. If possible, add coolant to your car first thing in the morning before you’ve even turned it on for the day. Next, check the hoses and radiator for any cracking or fractures in the rubber and note if anything should be replaced. After that, look at all the clamps around your hoses to ensure none of them need to be tightened. Finally, look at the areas around your radiator to see if there is any discoloration, as this could be a sign of leaking coolant. Talk to a trusted professional if you see any problems in or around your vehicle’s cooling system.

For more helpful tips on keeping your car road-ready, follow our blog. If you noticed any problems or inconsistencies during your spring cleaning efforts, contact ProCare Collision Center so we can get you fixed up and ready to go!

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ProCare Collision Center

Auto Body Repair & Service in Omaha, Nebraska Serving Omaha, Ralston, La Vista, Papillion, Elkhorn, Fremont, Council Bluffs, Chalco, Bellevue, Carter Lake and surrounding areas.