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Clock on to summer and wash away winter

After some of the worst winter weather for many years, a good wash is needed to get all the salt and grime off the bodywork and underside. Picture: PA

After some of the worst winter weather for many years, a good wash is needed to get all the salt and grime off the bodywork and underside. Picture: PA

PA

Spring is here – hooray! But that means cleaning and tidying the garage – boo! Motoring editor Andy Russell gets set to clock on to this onerous task.

Winter driving conditions can be very cruel for a car’s wellbeing so give it a spring clean and some TLC. Picture: PAWinter driving conditions can be very cruel for a car’s wellbeing so give it a spring clean and some TLC. Picture: PA

Spring has officially arrived, the clocks has gone forward an hour and thoughts are turning to light evenings and warm summer weather.

There’s just one fly in the ointment which also makes this one of the worst times of year. ‘Spring’ is associated with ‘clean’ – and that means tidying the garage.

It’s been in the home diary for some weeks – so I’m hoping for rain which means I won’t have to spend my ‘relaxing’ days away from work doing something more enjoyable outdoors (not cutting the grass) – so there’s no escape.

Months of storing, well chucking, stuff in the garage thinking it might come in handy have caught up with me and saving it for a rainy day clearly means a day sorting it all out.

My wife will be helping, although that generally means rushing me to make decisions about throwing stuff out before I can come up with some feeble excuse to justify keeping it.

So I think I’ll leave the decision-making to her while I do the ‘man stuff’ – drilling holes to fit the new fold-down storage hanger to get our bikes off the floor and on to the wall. Reckon I can spin that out for at least a couple of hours!

Once the spring clean mentality has kicked in so I plan to give the car a bit of TLC and wash away the winter.

Cars took a battering battling the wild, wintry conditions that blew in with the Beast from the East so the start of British Summer Time is an ideal time to get rid of the grime with some good, old-fashioned elbow grease and give the car a good checkover to make sure everything is working as it should and it’s roadworthy and legal.

So here’s my to-do list:

Give the paintwork a good soapy wash and rinse to remove road muck and gritting salt, cleaning inside door and boot openings and pressure washing the underside and wheelarches. If I have time, and depending on the temperature, I’ll give it a polish too.

Vacuum inside, clean dirt off plastic and vinyl trim and then wipe it over with a cleaner and protector.

Check tyre pressures and tread depth and look for any cuts and bulges, including the spare, and spruce up the walls with a gel gloss treatment.

Check fluid levels – oil, coolant and washer bottle.

Make sure all the lights work.

The wiper blades are still clearing, rather than smearing, the screen but I’ll wipe the rubber blades with neat screenwash to get rid of any dirt. If they were worn, I’d fit new ones or get them fitted.


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