The car is still the favourite holiday vehicle but a long drive under the sun or stops by the sea can heavily impact body, mechanics and interiors. After holiday maintenance basics are described below.
Seeking out the salt, and not just that
Usually older cars feel the holiday stress most, but even the latest models need pampering after heavy duty. Several hundred kilometres travelled under the scorching sun put a strain not only on the engine and tyres. Several variables add up, starting from sand, salt, mud or resin typical of either seaside or mountain resorts.
You need more than the car wash
You might think that passing rapidly under the brushes of a car wash, and the subsequent cleaning of the interior with a vacuum cleaner may suffice, but that is not the case. To erase all traces of the summer and get the car ready for autumn, you need something more that can be easily done without calling a specialist. Just give your car two or three hours of your time.
Let's get ready for autumn
Some of the checks to be carried out are the same as those you performed before departure. However, there is more to be done to avoid surprises and safely face the cold, rainy days that have fewer hours of daylight. Automatic car washes are undoubtedly fast and cheap, and they are a good starting point. But then you have to focus on more accurate interventions.
A high-pressure water jet cleaner is the ideal solution
Between brushes and high-pressure water jet cleaners, choose the latter at the self-service because they do not just wash the body. The water jet can be directed from below to effectively clean the wheel arches and the floor of the car. The process is essential to remove the highly corrosive salt that typically builds up at the seaside, although it is not the only foe.
Multipurpose cleaning cloths for interiors
Cleaning must be thorough, not just a quick wipe. For the interior you can use dedicated damp cloths for passenger compartment care. They are available at shopping malls. Being multipurpose, they are effective on fabric, faux leather and plastics; however, they can also be used to clean the windscreen, as they ensure a demisting effect for a few weeks.
Wax on, wax off
Let's move on to the body. Hasty car owners find it boring to apply wax, but it preserves the paint from pollutants and instantly restores the shine. It is also advisable to enhance the transparency of light clusters by applying a dedicated non-aggressive plastic restoring product.
Do not forget vital fluid levels
You can obviously make the most of this opportunity to run a routine check of vital fluid levels in the engine, starting with engine coolant and oil, as well as a pressure and health check of the four tyres (not forgetting the spare wheel or the temporary spare wheel). Speaking of tyres, you can book an appointment with the tyre specialist to switch from summer to winter by November 15, in case the car is not equipped with all season tyres. If the car has either been used or even just parked in dusty areas, it is advisable to check, clean or replace the air filter. Do not forget to sanitise climate control system filter and ducts with a dedicated spray product.