Auto spring cleaning
March 29, 2008 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Happy Spring! What should I do to my car after a long winter of snowy roads and lengthy sitting in the driveway?

My last car was a Volvo 240 and it seemed to enjoy getting road salt rubbed into its nooks and crannies (my average mpg would go up in winter) and loved basking in the sun on the driveway when I took the train or bus on a business trip. I bought a newer car (2005 Jetta) last year that I'd like to treat a little bit better.

What can I do to make sure my newer car lasts as long as possible after its first winter in my hands? I'd like to hear about your spring cleaning ritual for your car. Do you wax it yourself? Do you pay a porter to do the cleanup for you? How do you clean out the underbelly beyond a run through an automatic washer?
posted by yellowbkpk to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I wax 2-3 times a year, but I live in LA where, obviously, we get no snow. You might consider getting a wax just before snow season and once during. Then get one before summer starts and one during the summer. Wax really saves the paint. Always use protection!
posted by HotPatatta at 10:19 AM on March 29, 2008

Response by poster: HotPatatta, how do you wax? Do you take it somewhere or do ya do it yourself?
posted by yellowbkpk at 10:36 AM on March 29, 2008

I do it myself because I think I do a much more thorough job than a drive-through car wash. I use Turtle Wax, which words very well. Don't do it when it's very hot and sunshiny. You have to do it in sections. I'll pour a bit on the surface and rub it around with a soft towel. When it starts to look hazy and dry, I use a clean towel to remove it. Then I use a chamois to buff the car to reveal a glistening, new-looking car.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:07 PM on March 29, 2008

It was my chore to wash the cars when I was growing up. My dad was adamant that an automatic car wash can't properly clean the underbelly of a car. I was always impressed with how much crap I could spray out out of the wheel wells with the high pressure sprayer.
posted by keith0718 at 8:13 PM on March 29, 2008

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