For many drivers longer days make driving more enjoyable as journeys at night can often be stressful. During winter we often neglect checking the condition of our vehicle bodywork so now is a good opportunity to glance over it and look for any signs of corrosion.
Remove winter grime from paint work with warm water and a suitable car shampoo. Start on the roof and work your way down and around the car, allowing stubborn dirt at the bottom to soak. Pay particular attention to the undersides of doors and sills and make sure that all the shampoo is fully rinsed off before drying the car. Attend to minor areas of corrosion, stone chips etc. as they will only get worse if left. Areas of extensive corrosion are best left to the experts.
Stone chip touch-up kits are available from most accessory shops. Take your time and you should be able to acheive a reasonable finish. Polish offers some paintwork protection and will help to restore any loss of gloss on older vehicles. Use a good quality polish and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
The inside of your car may not have dried out properly all through the winter as wet shoes and clothes keep bringing in moisture while there’s not been the heat or ventilation to dry it out. Discoloured upholstery, rotted carpets and general shabbiness can seriously reduce a car’s resale value.
Take out loose mats before vacuuming the carpets. If required, shampoo the carpets too but avoid using too much water and ideally choose a warm sunny day when doors and windows can be left open to help them dry
And remember, before the start of any long journey and ideally every week check the engine oil level, radiator coolant level, windscreen washer level and tyre pressures, including the spare. The vehicle handbook should show you clearly how to do all of these.