As hard as it might be to believe, spring is almost here. Some of us are still scribbling out the past year on our paperwork as we fight to remember that it is, in fact, a new year now. But believe it or not, we are nearly a quarter of the way through this year. With the clock ticking away, now’s a good time as ever to do your regular car maintenance. Here’s how to get your car ready for the spring.
Clean your undercarriage
Some leftovers are great. Turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving are heaven-sent, and most people are no stranger to a cold slice of pizza straight out of the fridge. Your car, on the other hand, isn’t a big fan of leftovers. After a winter of driving, your underbody is bound to be covered in road salt and other grimy goodies. Not only is this gross, but it can lead to corrosion, and corrosion leads to rust, and rust leads to a whole slew of new problems.
Spend a few bucks on the undercarriage power wash at the carwash to clean up your car’s act and get rid of those winter leftovers.
Do your car (and your future self) a favor and clean up its act. Spend a few extra bucks at the carwash for an undercarriage power washing, or take things into your own hands and use your own garden hose for a cheaper DIY option. Or, for the truly lazy, you can move your lawn sprinkler under your car and set it and forget it. No judgments from us – you can use that free time to take care of your Adult Obligations, like petting a dog or taking a nap.
Check up on your tires
Depending on where you live, snow tires may be a luxury to make your winter commute less stressful or it can even be a necessity for safe driving. But they’re called snow tires for a reason, and once the temperature climbs above 45 degrees (and stays there) it’s time to switch back to your standard tires.
Even for those lucky enough to live in areas with milder winters, the cold temperature will undoubtedly take its toll on your tires. You should be checking your tire pressure year round, but going into spring is a great time to do some routine maintenance.
Winter weather makes your tires lose 1 pound of pressure per square inch for every 42° drop in temperature, so once the thermometer starts to climb it’s a good idea to check your tire pressure. Plus, it’s nice to stand out at the air pump and enjoy the spring breeze instead of the winter wind biting at your nose.
It’s also worth taking your car into the shop for a tire rotation. Most garages recommend it for basic spring maintenance, as well as a wheel alignment to make sure you’re wearing your tires evenly. While they’re at it, the mechanic will go ahead and give your tires a checkup to look for any cracks, degraded tread, or any other issues that could lead to a flat tire – or worse, a blowout.
Change the basics
There’s no reason to fear change when it comes to spring maintenance for your car. With spring marching in, it’s a good time to change your oil, your oil filter, and your air filter. Regular oil changes are par for the course for any vehicle maintenance, and replacing your filters is a good way to keep your car in tiptop shape.
While you’re at it, you might as well flush your cooling system and refill it. Flushing your radiator is the cheapest form of insurance against engine failure there is. As a rule, you should be flushing every two years, but it’s a good a time as ever to do it while you’re already taking care of your spring maintenance. It saves time, money, and will keep your engine healthier to boot. For added protection, replace your radiator cap too. Not-so-fun fact: Almost 20% of vehicles on the road have damaged, loose, or missing gas caps. Even-less-fun-fact: This results in wasting over 147 million gallons of gas every year. Yikes!
But wait! There’s more. Check out your wiper blades and see how they’ve held up through the winter. Wipers have a life expectancy of about six months to a year anyway, and after an entire season of working in overdrive to clean your windshield of snow, ice, and salt spray, they might be ready to call it quits. You don’t want to find out your wipers have given up on life in the middle of a heavy spring storm.
Treat your car to a spa day
Once you’ve got all the heavy lifting out of the way, it’s time to have some fun. Get your car in on the Spring Cleaning with a trip to the carwash. After a winter of being plowed in, snowed on, iced over, and covered in road salt, your car will definitely appreciate some TLC. Sure, you can do things the old fashioned way with a hose and a bucket of soapy water in your driveway, but it’s really worth paying a little extra to have your car professionally cleaned. They’ll get every single inch of your ride gleaming and have it looking like you just drove it off the lot.
Bring the spring cleaning to your interior
Just like the exterior, your interior deserves to feel the love too. After you’re done vacuuming your carpets, wiping down your dashboard, and cleaning the windshield, you’ve got a blank slate to start fresh for the spring. While just having a freshly cleaned car is refreshing in and of itself, there’s no need to stop there. Much like the way we swap out parkas for crop tops in the summer, we can also give our cars a fresh look for the season.
When people think of giving their car a facelift, the first thing that comes to mind is usually a paint job. This is the most dramatic way to upgrade the look of your car for sure, but it’s also the most expensive by a long shot. Not even Bill Gates repaints his Tesla for every season. Although, baby blue for the spring and burnt orange for the fall would be a nice touch.
There’s no need to go all out, regardless of your budget. Simply adding a few personal touches to your car’s interior can go a long way in breathing some new life into your vehicle.
Play with color
One of the quickest (and affordable) ways to spruce up your interior is seat covers. Custom seat covers are costly and generally are a one-time-buy type of deal, but universal seat covers are both easier on your wallet and easier to switch up for a new look. If you want black leather seats for the winter and then swap them out for fresh red fabric for the summer, it’s a lot smarter from both a financial and practical standpoint to opt for universal seat covers over custom seat covers.
The finished product of your car all pretty and primped after its makeover is awesome; the hassle of installing them, maybe not so much. The most important thing is making sure the end result is worth the effort, which leads us to the best part – the shopping spree.
This is your time to let your inner interior designer shine.
For spring, the trends usually shift from the vampy reds and rich browns of winter to softer, brighter shades. Tiffany blue, sunflower yellow, and lively green are popular colors that make their appearance year after year. A vivid mint color is sure to make any interior come alive.
If you want to make things more personal, you can flex your creative muscles and find colors that coordinate with your car’s paint and interior to create a palette that coordinates for a fresh aesthetic. You can look to nature, art, or even the good ol’ color wheel for inspiration. A white car with a black interior can be paired with bright red seat covers for a bold look, or black and white seat covers for a more minimalist approach. A sparkling azure paint job can pair beautifully with a punch of color from burgundy, while blue seat covers a few shades darker than the paint can create more subtle contrast.
Don’t be afraid to play around with texture as well! Though leather may heat up in the hotter months, faux leather seat covers are great for the spring. The mild temperatures of the season will keep your seats toasty from the sun without getting scorching hot and driving with the windows down will cool your seats while you enjoy the spring breeze. Plus, the effect of sunshine cascading onto leather is a sight to behold.
Leather seat covers tend to come in natural colors – beige, tan, black, and sometimes gray. While these are classic colors that can look striking in any vehicle, for the spring you may want to opt for PU leather seat covers, which are available in a wider variety of hues to choose from. Imagine a pop of lime green against the black interior of your car, or a lavender accent mingling with a fresh crème interior. PU leather seat covers give you the benefits of real leather plus the color options of fabric seat covers, making them a great choice for your spring makeover.
Complete your look
With the ever growing variety of car accessories on the market, you also have the opportunity to take it one step further and spice it up with a steering wheel cover, silicone accessories, or even floor mats. You can keep it classic with a matching color scheme, or you can show off your inner Andy Warhol and get creative.
If your car has a sleek, shiny red paint job, you might be tempted to go for red seat covers. But think of your vehicle as a bigger picture. What color is your interior? What colors compliment the specific shade of red of your car? If you have a deep sparkling garnet exterior and chic granite interior, you may opt to spring for seat covers to match that interior instead and then add some red accents to match the paint. Imagine luxurious black PU leather seat covers with a pop of red on your steering wheel. The matching red inside of your car will draw the eye in, and then the PU leather seat covers will top it off with absolute unparalleled class.
Of course, there are more car accessories out there than just steering wheel covers. Silicone accessories are a great way to add some unexpected pops of color to your interior. Maybe pink is your favorite color, but the idea of bright fuschia seat covers makes you cringe. You can keep it simple with black seat covers but then add a silicone dash mat in magenta, or a silicone cup holder in a rosy pastel color.
Keep an open mind while deciding on your spring makeover. After all, getting creative is half the fun! The other half is seeing the end result – whether it feels like a whole new car or just your good ol’ faithful with a fresh look. And of course, there’s bonus points for looking cool while you’re driving, too.
Check out the collection of universal seat covers to breathe that spring breeze into your car. From pastel fabric seat covers to bright PU leather seat covers and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.