April showers might bring May flowers, but it also brings spring cleaning, typically one of the less-exciting fresh starts of the season. But if you expand your battleground to the great outdoors, you might actually find yourself having fun – especially if a garden hose and your FIAT® 500 are nearby. Here are our DIY tips to get your ride looking its best this season, and throughout the year.
You’ll need a bucket, of course. You’ll also need a soap tough enough to wash away winter grime, but mild enough not to harm your car’s paint job. Skip the dish variety. For scrubbing and detailing, choose microfiber towels or mitts that won’t shed on or harm your car’s finish.
As it gets warmer, it might be tempting to work on your tan while cleaning the car, but parking in the shade will keep suds from drying and staining as you go along. If bugs have died 1,000 deaths upon your windshield or grill, presoak to loosen the guts (there’s no pretty way to phrase that) and apply the same treatment to lower doors, fenders and along wheel wheels, where things tend to get extra messy.
The Top-Down Approach
Start lathering from the roof on down. Obvious, yes, but along with keeping dirt from traveling over what you’ve already washed, you won’t drag coarse debris from the bottom of your car over the rest of its body or glass. Wash and rinse in sections (roof, then hood, then right fender, etc.), and then tackle your wheels using a separate towel or mitt before rinsing everything again.
Devil in the Details
If after washing your car you notice any problem areas (say, any spots previously exposed to birds with particularly weak stomachs), apply a clay paint cleaner cut with liquid wax to smooth out the finish. Then, apply either liquid or paste wax to the entire body. You’ll want to repeat this step once in each subsequent season to keep the perfect shine.
It’s What’s Inside That Counts
Apply a standard glass cleaner to each side of the windows and a water-beading solution to the exterior windshield. For carpets, upholstery and vents, use standard vacuum attachments (if you have one, an air compressor is great for cleaning the inside of vents). If you use protectant spray or towelettes on your dash, leather and other trim, make sure it’s rubbed in completely so dust won’t stick to it.
Our Mopar team has developed many products designed to give you best results for all of your hard work. Check out some of the products the pros recommend:
- Tire Treatment – spray and wipe to enhance tire appearance…exclusively for tires and sidewalls
- Cleaner Wax – Specially formulated for today’s sophisticated paints. Leaves finish glossy and well protected
- Finish Enhancer – Use between car washes to remove dust and other pollutants. Quick and easy, just mist and wipe
- Chrome Cleaner – Specifically formulated for use on chrome surfaces that are exposed to weather or water
- Super Kleen Bug, Tar & Spot Remover – Wipes away those sticky, unsightly substances
- Leather, Rubber & Vinyl Protector – Renews and preserves leather, rubber & vinyl interior components. Protects surfaces with a beautiful medium gloss shine. Prevents weathering with UV protectant
Head over to the official Mopar site to locate your nearest Mopar retailer to purchase any of these items. When you’re done admiring your newly pristine ride, let us know which tips you found most helpful, or feel free to share your own helpful advice in the comments below.