MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — All week, we’re looking at ways you can make spring cleaning as effective and enjoyable as possible. This Wednesday, we’re sitting in the driver’s seat, so we talked with WCCO photojournalist Gordy Leach, our resident motor head.
Leach, who writes the Gordy’s Garage blog here on WCCO.COM, gave us six expert tips on how to get your ride ready for the spring driving season.
One: Safety First
“If you think you don’t have time to do anything else, put some windshield washer fluid in a spray bottle, get some paper towels and clean your windows, mirrors and lights,” said Leach. “That’s a safety issue.”
Two: Cleanliness Is Next To …
When you do have some time to take your vehicle to a professional, Leach says a clean ride goes along way with mechanics.
“Somebody is not going to the doctor without taking a shower first, so don’t take it to the mechanic without cleaning it up,” he said. “I would take it to the mechanic as clean as it has ever been because this tells that says, ‘Hey this person cares about their car.’ The mechanic might care a little bit extra as well.”
Three: Salt Is Bad
We’re all trying to cut back on salt these days. After a long winter, your car is probably begging to go on a low sodium diet.
“It’s particularly important to keep it off the car body if you can,” said Leach, “because it just sits there and creates the chemical reaction that ends up as rust, and you can see that on a lot of cars in the spring.”
Four: Nip That Rust In The Bud
Rust is like a fungus and, if left unchecked, will continue to grow. One simple solution is sand paper.
“If you got rusty wheels for example, you could take some time on the week end and maybe do one wheel per weekend. The way to do it is sandpaper and paint,” said Leach. “It’s simple; just time consuming, takes some elbow grease.”
Five: Kick The Tires
At the end of a long winter it’s likely that your tires took a beating. Clean them up and look for gouges or gashes and check the tread. Gordy suggests an old trick that still works.
“You’ve got to be nervous,” he said. “You take a penny and you stick it into the tread upside down, and it should go down so that you can’t see the top of Lincoln’s head.”
Six: Clean Means Green
“It’s worth more, if you go and take a car in for a trade in, you can get hundreds if not thousands of dollars more for a clean, detailed car,” said Leach.