TIME FOR SPRING CLEANING
Spring is upon us and that means it's time to get your ride in killer shape! The winter months are hard on a vehicle. Snow, salt, and grime can eat away at the paint and undercarriage, and leave your truck a little worse for wear. Here are some simple tips that will bring your truck back to its youthful luster.
A good detailed wash is a great place to start. Make sure you use a car washing soap. Don't get lazy and use dish cleaner or any liquid soap that you have in your home, or you're signing up for a disaster. This will not only damage the paint, but will also strip away the wax finish on your truck. Before you start soaping your vehicle, spray it off first with water. This will remove dirt and sand, which would scratch the paint if not taken care of first. Spray under the hood as well as the undercarriage. Use a clean mitt or sponge to wash, and of course, use a soft drying cloth or chamois (soft leather) to dry.
If you run your finger along the paint and feel little bumps, then you may need to use a clay bar to help restore that smooth-as-a-baby's-bottom feel. To remove some scratches below the surface, you will need to apply a compound to an applicator pad and lightly rub out the scratches. You may need to do this a couple of times to completely get the scratches out.
Wheels and Tires
Pay special attention to the wheels because the winter salt can really pit and eat away at your wheels. Find a cleaner based upon whatever type of wheel you have - aluminum, chrome, or painted. Investing in a car brush with soft feathered bristles is a great idea so you can scrub your wheels without scratching them. Rinse then dry the wheels with a soft cloth - just not the one you use to dry your vehicle with. Then throw on some wheel wax to protect it.
Clean the tire with soap and water. After the wheel and tire have been cleaned and dried, then carefully spray the tires with a water-based product which will give it a little shine without damaging the tire. You'd be surprised what clean wheels and tires can do for the overall look of your truck! Don't skimp on this step.
After your truck is clean, pull it into the shade and slather on a layer of wax. This is like sunscreen for your truck. It helps protect the paint from fading and keeps that glossy, luxury finish. You can buy wax in a natural or synthetic form. Both types of wax perform the same in our opinion. The synthetic form is usually in a liquid or spray form and tends to be easier to apply. Professionals recommend to wax your vehicle at least four times a year to keep the paint looking its best.
It's what's on the inside that counts! Don't neglect the interior of your truck! Pull out a vacuum and suck up all the dirt that was tracked in over the winter. If you have leather seats, apply a leather cleaner and wipe down all the leather. This will help protect the leather from fading and cracking. Wipe the layer of dust off the dashboard and use a cleaner that is suitable to the material the dashboard is made out of.
Take away that cloudy look by spraying all the windows on the inside with an auto window cleaner. You will be shocked by how clear the view is as you look out of your clean windshield. Stay away from household glass cleaners because they contain ammonia. That's right, no Windex! This can damage your vehicle's window tint. Just don't do it.
Now get to work! Your truck works hard for you. Time to show her some lovin'.