Spring arrived, and you knocked out all your spring cleaning. You cleaned out the closet, washed the windows, spruced up the yard and reclaimed parking space in your garage. You’ve even gone back to the gym to get ready for swimsuit season. You and your home are starting to look in shape again. But what about your car? According to a U.S. Census Bureau report in 2005, commuters spent an average of 24.3 minutes traveling to and from work every day in 2003. Realistically, there are probably rooms in your house that you don’t spend 24 minutes a day in, but received more attention than your car when the spring fever cleaning bug hit. While there are no exact numbers for 2008, we’re willing to bet your commute time is now even longer. Doesn’t your car deserve the same spring makeover as you or your house?
So, now that you’ve spiffed up your domicile and lost that extra layer of winter insulation around your midsection, here’s a few tips to get your car back in shape as well—making it more livable, increasing its longevity, and helping it uphold its value as well.
We all assemble a collection of items that we didn’t want to take out of the trunk or backseat during a big storm or because we got home from a ball game or party too late, but sometimes those items take up permanent residence. Evict those freeloading stowaways, they’re making your car work harder and costing you money at the gas pump. And don’t stop at what’s in plain sight. Pull up the trunk carpet and check under the spare and look under the seats as well. An ink pen snapped as it gets caught up in a seat mechanism, or an old corroding flashlight battery that fell under the spare tire can leave quite a mess. Don’t forget the storage bins and glove box either: you don’t need that proof of insurance or registration paperwork from 2001. When you’re done cleaning out all the nooks and crannies, you may even end up with enough spare change for lunch.