Car Care: Spring has sprung, get cleaning
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With a bit of luck, the grey drudgery of winter will soon be behind us and we will steam into spring with the anticipation of summer. With that in mind, there’s no better time to do a bit of spring cleaning to get your car looking and feeling fresh again.
Unless you park your car next to a giant dehumidifier, chances are some moisture has entered it over the winter months, especially if you park outdoors.
Portable moisture absorbers like Damp Rid are great; just pop one inside the car for a few days and you’ll be amazed at how much moisture is removed.
Alternatively, and if you want to save a few pennies, wait for a hot sunny day and crack open a window or even a door and let the sun do its work.
Now that you’re inside the vehicle, give the surfaces a clean with some automotive “wet wipes” to get rid of dust and grime that may have accumulated, especially around cup holders.
Try to avoid shiny silicones on the dash under the windscreen, as it may cause the surface to reflect the sun. And if you’re using a spray, be careful not to smear the inside of the glass.
Now take a look around, notice any empty drink bottles or coffee cups lying around? The average Auckland motorist can spend up to 20 working days each year in their car stuck in traffic alone — that’s not even including driving time.
With all of those extra hours in your vehicle, it can quickly become cluttered with rubbish, newspapers, clothing and who knows what else. Clutter not only diminishes the appeal of a car, but can also create safety hazards and projectiles in the event of an emergency.
Often the biggest source of clutter in vehicles can come from items that are only needed temporarily. We’re talking sports equipment, camping gear and the odd road trip supply.
Keep these items in convenient containers and store in accessible areas of your home or garage. The easier these items are to access (load and unload), the more inclined you will be to bring these along only when needed. Over time, the savings in fuel mileage will add up — less weight equals lower fuel consumption.
For safety purposes, ensure the driver’s area is a clutter-free zone. Nothing should ever be able to fall near the driver’s feet and impede the use of the pedals. If you are in the habit of kicking off your shoes or Jandals, make sure they are well under the seat or better yet, put them in the back.
Floor mats are equally as important — if you have mats that are not secure, incorrectly fitted or if you have one mat too many, you’re playing dangerously as they could get tangled up in the pedals.
Those with children will understand how toys and food crumbs can quickly turn the interior of a car into a mess. Keep a hand-held vacuum in your garage for the next load of sausage rolls, and within a minute or two you have a new best friend.
If Daisy the dog is a frequent passenger, consider purchasing a large pet hammock/seat cover. These connect to the headrests between two rows of seating and help keep pet hair contained. When not using simply remove, shake and store.
Clutter in a vehicle is not just a physical nuisance — it can affect your ability to focus. Keeping the car organised not only looks and feels good, but it can increase mental concentration on the road (and reduce stress).
So, keep the vehicle well organised to create a pleasant and safe driving experience that you and your passengers can enjoy.