With the temperature starting to decline, you may keep your vehicle windows shut more often and even get the heater blowing. It’s time for an end-of-season clean-up, to remove the dust, dirt and debris of a busy summer and prevent damage to your vehicle’s interior. Plus, a neat and orderly cabin just looks, and feels, better.
The easiest and most thorough way to a sparkling interior is to bring your vehicle into the dealership and let trained professionals with specialized tools and knowledge give it a thorough cleaning and detailing. If you want to start the job yourself, here are a few tips to make the job more manageable.
The first thing you’ll want to do is grab a garbage bag and clean out any trash. Whether it’s candy wrappers, bottles or fast food containers, chance are good you have an abundance of stuff that can be thrown out. Be sure to bring along a separate bag for recyclables. It’s also a good time to make sure you have your current registration, insurance and owner’s manuals. Working from front to back can be beneficial, and don’t forget about the trunk.
Next, wipe down all interior surfaces to remove dirt, dust and stains that have accumulated. The dashboard, armrests, door jambs, windows, handles, knobs and buttons should all be wiped with proper cleaning products recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Don’t forget about hidden cupholders, map pockets, cubbies, glove boxes and any rear cargo storage areas. There are an abundance of helpful items out there to help make the job easier, and you can ask your dealership’s service department for recommendations.
Be conscious of USB and auxiliary ports, to avoid getting cleaners or water into them, and be sure to use soft cloth (never paper) and factory-recommended cleaners when wiping touch-screens and other displays, to avoid scratching or otherwise damaging them.
If you have leather seats, use a product that’s specially designed for leather. If not, use a product recommended for your cloth upholstery or use a damp cloth, making sure you avoid using large quantities of water so you don’t get the seat padding wet. Take any floor mats out of your vehicle, shake them and, if they are rubber, rinse them with a hose. You obviously want to use products that won’t harm your vehicle’s interior, so when in doubt, ask for help.
Once you’ve gotten rid of all of the surface debris, it’s time to vacuum. There are plenty of quality places to take your vehicle, or use your home or shop vacuum cleaner, which often has attachments for those hard-to-reach areas. Remember to get under, along-side and between seats, and the trunk or cargo area, too. Next, vacuum carpeted floor mats. If your carpet or carpeted mats have stains, ask your dealer to recommend a cleaner that won’t harm the carpet material.
Once you’ve finished, an exterior wash will leave your vehicle feeling good as new.
A clean car is a simple pleasure, and with the colder months ahead, it’s important to keep it that way. If you carry lots of stuff that is hard to keep organized and tidy, it may be time to look into the cargo management items available for your make and model at your dealership. There are usually plenty of choices made to the exact specifications of your vehicle.
With all of the high-tech equipment you have in your vehicle, it’s frequently the simple things that get overlooked. As always, if there’s anything you need to help keep your vehicle running its best, stop by today and let the factory-trained staff do the job as only they can.
This article is presented by Perkins Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado.