How to get the car ready for spring
Before the first drive after the winter season, the car should also be made fit for spring. The ADAC has useful tips on washing the car, caring for the interior and engine and changing tyres.
- Car wash with pre-wash
To remove the winter's salt crust from the bodywork, drivers should pre-wash the car before entering the car wash, for example with a steam jet. Stubborn dirt on the car paint softens and prevents dirt particles, sand and small stones from acting like sandpaper during the wash and causing scratches. Simple standard washing programmes afterwards are sufficient in the ADAC's view.
- Cleaning windscreens
The windscreen in particular should be cleaned carefully, both inside and out. For a good view, drivers should also check the windscreen wiper blades, as these can be worn out. If the rubber is brittle or the blades smear, the wipers should be replaced. Before cleaning the inside of the side windows, they should be lowered a little to reach the uppermost areas, which are otherwise hidden under the seals.
Tip: If you clean the windows vertically on the inside and horizontally on the outside, it is easier to spot streaks and you can do more targeted touch-ups.
- Caring for plastic trim and door rubbers
Cleaning faded plastic trims works well with a plastic cleaner, followed by a darker colour with a deep care product. The cleaned rubber seals on the door should be treated with a care product from a car dealer.
- Clean the interior
If necessary, rubber floor mats can be replaced with summer mats. The footwell should also be thoroughly dried and cleaned, and the seats and floor vacuumed. A narrow hoover nozzle can be used to reach spaces in between. Be careful with softer plastics: The hard nozzle can cause scratches. Use car interior cleaner and a microfibre cloth to remove dirt from dashboards, seat upholstery and fabric trim. If the dirt is deeper, a wet vacuum cleaner is used after spraying the affected areas with cleaner. Cockpit spray is suitable for cleaning, preparing and maintaining plastic and smooth leather surfaces.
- Lose the ballast
After the end of the ski season, roof boxes and ski racks should be removed, as they increase fuel consumption: on the motorway, a roof box adds up to 20 percent more fuel to your wallet. The basic carrier alone can increase consumption by around 5 percent. As a rule of thumb, up to 0.3 litres more fuel per 100 kilometres can be consumed per 100 kilograms. Additional loads such as snow chains, grit, ice scrapers and brooms are now also on summer break.
- Check all fluids and lights
Drivers should also take a look under the bonnet and check the oil, coolant and windscreen washer system, or top up if necessary. During the frost-free period, a windscreen cleaner additive is sufficient. But beware: sometimes this cannot be mixed with the antifreeze that is still in the washer system. The ADAC also recommends checking the lights.
- Changing tyres
According to the rule of thumb from O(ktober) to O(stern), it is now time to change to summer tyres. The club advises measuring the tread depth before fitting: If it is less than three millimetres, new tyres should be fitted. After changing the tyres, the wheel bolts must be retightened after about 100 to 200 kilometres.