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Spring Cleaning for Your Vehicle: Inside & Out

After a few months of colder temperatures and unpredictable weather, your car can take a beating. Dirt and grime can build up on the exterior paint and de-icer plus salt can rust the undercarriage of your vehicle, while stains from mud and spilled coffee can ruin your seats and carpeting. With warmer weather just around the corner, it's time to give your ride a good spring cleaning, inside and out. Here are some tips for prepping your car for the change of season. 

  1. Aside from throwing out water bottles and wrappers that have accumulated over the past few months, it is important to vacuum the seats and carpets. For the best results, use an extension hose with attachments. Remove the floor mats and get into small crevices with an attachment tool, then take out removable seats to get in hard to reach places. Don't forget to vacuum the trunk and cargo area too. 
  2. Consider using a steam cleaner on your carpet and upholstery. You can rent one, or it may be a good idea to buy one you can use for your car and at home. For tough stains, you may want to purchase a special cleaner to pre-treat affected areas. 
  3. Use a leather cleaner, or other recommended mild soap to clean your leather seats or leather-trimmed areas. With a soft cloth, rub the cleaner onto all leather areas, then wipe dry with a clean cloth. After cleaning, the leather can be treated with a conditioner to keep it from drying out. 
  4. Clean the inside and outside glass and mirrors with a glass cleaner. Spray it onto your soft cloth to avoid streaking or dripping on other surfaces. Wipe and repeat if necessary.
  5. For hard surfaces like your dashboard, door moldings, and interior trim, you can use an all-purpose household cleaner. Again, spray the solution on a clean cloth and then wipe down the areas to avoid dripping on other surfaces. Wipe down seat belts, your glove compartment, drink holders, radio buttons, and air vents.
  6. Protect your car's exterior by getting a good wash and wax. You can wash the car yourself with a vehicle specific cleaner purchased at your local NAPA Auto Parts location with your 10% AAA Membership discount.  Or visit Sam's Xpress and leave the washing to the professionals where AAA members receive the Unlimited Top Wash Club Plan for $24.99. Regular washing and waxing will protect your paint and help with resale value.
  7. Finally, take your car into AAA Car Care Center for a FREE multi-point inspection to be sure your vehicle is performing optimally. Our trained technicians will check your tires, brakes, lights, engine, belts, hoses, and fluids and other systems so you can address necessary repairs. Members will receive a 10% discount on repair labor and a 2-year/24,000 warranty on repairs.

For additional tips on spring cleaning your car, check out AAA Talks, and remember that part of maintaining your vehicle means getting it serviced. Don't wait until something goes wrong with your car to bring it in. Schedule your visit to AAA Car Care Center at the start of the season so you can plan some worry-free, warm weather drives. 

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