Follow these simple steps to prepare your car for spring and stay alive!

Death trap?

Death trap?

When I was in high school, my friends and I celebrated VAD every year. 

Vehicle Appreciation Day was completely made up and usually took place some time between Earth Day and my birthday (April 28, for those keeping track). 

It was a time for us all to get together, celebrate the arrival of spring, wash the winter grime off our cars, and spray the girls with cold hose water. While it was really just another excuse to have some fun, the theory behind VAD was preparing our cars for spring and summer. 

While it seems like a self-explanatory process, I’d suggest you pay close attention, because there’s one piece of advice here that could save you from being killed by your laptop. Seriously.

But before I get to that, you need to know some tricks that will help you make sure your car is babied and beautiful:

  1. Don’t wash a car with Dawn (or any other dish soap sitting at your sink).
  2. Don’t use a sponge – use a wash mitt. (Sponges trap sand, and sand scratches paint.)
  3. Wax your car (to buff out scratches from using the sponge and restore the finish that your dish soap stripped away).
  4. Clean your wheels really well, not just because they’ll look better, but because harsh road salts and de-icers can pit wheels, which can lead to tires leaking air through a faulty bead.
  5. Check your air filter and cabin filters. Winter has a way of clogging them, even if you replaced them last fall.
  6. Check your coolant, all other fluid levels, and tire pressure. Tires that were properly inflated when it was 20 degrees out will likely be overinflated when temperatures get into the 60s, and overinflated tires are dangerous.

Okay, now to the prevention of death-by-laptop:

As we get excited for summer car trips with our windows open and tops down, we get lazy about securing loose items in the car. For example, there’s this story about a woman who was killed when she was hit in the back of the head by her laptop after a car accident that otherwise wouldn’t have been fatal. Such incidents aren’t as rare as you might think, as my wife had a patient a few years ago in the hospital who was smacked in the head by a set of golf clubs in a similar accident. 

Please, fellow cargurus, make sure heavy items in your car are secured with no chance of crushing the back of your heads. (The number of visits to our site lately has been way up, so we want to make sure you keep coming back.)

What are your favorite springtime car rituals?

-tgriffith

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