Spring clean­ing

Af­ter a long hard win­ter, doesn’t your car de­serve a lit­tle ten­der lov­ing care?

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian Turner

WITH the end of a very long and hard win­ter in sight for most of us, more than a few cab­in­fevered ve­hi­cle nuts are aching for warm Satur­day morn­ings in the drive­way or home garage, ea­ger to tackle the task of scrap­ing the Canadian win­ter grime off the daily driver.

It’s time to trade road-salt white for a more fac­tory-in­tended hue, and while many look at this chore as a nec­es­sary evil, it can ac­tu­ally pay off in re­duced main­te­nance and re­pair costs and im­proved trade-in or re­sale value.

To prove the lat­ter point, UK au­to­care prod­uct masters Au­to­glym sent their Canadian of­fice’s brand manager, Dave Lam­bert, to Canadian Black Book (the lead­ers in auto mar­ket val­u­a­tion) to com­plete a re­ju­ve­na­tion of a very tired 10-year-old Honda Civic. Be­fore and af­ter ap­praisals were com­pleted by an au­tho­rized Honda deal­er­ship. With only a few hours of some ten­der lov­ing care and a lit­tle el­bow grease, the Civic’s value in­creased by al­most 20 per cent, to $6,500.

Even if you’re not trad­ing in the char­iot for a newer ride, and even if you’re not a sub­scrib­ing car nut, that time spent in the drive­way can earn driven task. Many car own­ers have switched over to sep­a­rate rims for snow-tire use, but a 12-month sub­stance can put sum­mer al­loy wheels at risk if left to ac­cu­mu­late. That ma­te­rial is brake-lining dust.

This toner-black pow­der is cor­ro­sive and one of the top causes of al­loy­wheel sur­face pit­ting and clear-coat peel­ing. By us­ing a qual­ity rim clean­ing prod­uct and a soft bris­tled brush, it’s easy to re­move th­ese dark stains and ex­tend the life of the rims and im­prove their ap­pear­ance.

On the top side, Lam­bert said, pol­ish­ing is the step that’s missed al­to­gether, and this causes less-thanstel­lar fin­ishes. Be­tween wash and wax, pol­ish­ing painted sur­faces does the “don­key work” — as Lam­bert put it — of re­mov­ing stub­born stains and re­pair­ing im­per­fec­tions to re­ju­ve­nate the paint. It takes only a few years of sun ra­di­a­tion and weath­er­ing to cause per­cep­ti­ble colour depth changes be­tween body pan­els, with hor­i­zon­tal sheets such as hoods and roofs tak­ing the big­gest hit.

Fail­ing to com­plete the pol­ish­ing means your wax ap­pli­ca­tion will seal in your paint scars and colour dif­fer­ences rather than elim­i­nate them. There is a marked dif­fer­ence be­tween pol­ishes and waxes on your auto-parts store shelves and it’s worth read­ing up on their ap­pli­ca­tion pro­cesses and in­tended uses be­fore ap­ply­ing them to your ve­hi­cle.

Head­ing into the pas­sen­ger cabin, vac­u­um­ing car­pets and seats is the most time-con­sum­ing part of the job, but one of the most im­por­tant to get odours out, along with the grit and sand. When you con­sider that the in­side of your ve­hi­cle is where you spend a great deal of your day, mak­ing it the fo­cus of your spring clean­ing can make the com­mute much more bear­able.

Lam­bert ad­vises deal­ing with spills and stains as soon as pos­si­ble to avoid the marks set­ting into fab­rics. It helps to have good light­ing for this job and


This 10-year-old Honda Civic cleaned up nicely.

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