Top 11 Ways to Get Your Car Ready for Spring by Danny’s Upholstery
Winter sweaters and boots have been packed away just in time for shorts and flip-flops. Does your vehicle benefit from the same “Spring Cleaning” as your home? Warm weather means long weekend getaways and even longer vacation road trips, so take a moment to read the following tips from Danny White, master upholsterer and owner of Danny’s Upholstery in Virginia Beach.
In some cases, you’ll be able to perform these actions yourself. Others are best done by a mechanic as part of a tune-up. Some will help your vehicle look better. Most will help it perform more efficiently and get better gas mileage. If you need interior seat repairs, want custom seat covers, are thinking of replacing the carpet or your headliner is falling down, call Danny’s Upholstery at 757-363-5889. Danny’s is Your One Stop Upholstery Shop serving the Hampton Roads area for over 33 years.
1. Visually inspect interior and exterior for repairs and custom changes.
This time of year is a great time to repair seat upholstery or replace carpet if needed. Have you always wanted to customize or “trick out” the interior with custom or new upholstered seat covers? Is your headliner falling down or torn? Do you need a seat or frame repair? Danny’s Upholstery is here to meet your needs and make your dreams come true. Give Danny a call at 757-363-5889 or since it is easier for him to provide an accurate estimate by seeing your auto, stop by our stop. We are open M-S, see hours below.
2. Get rid of road salt on the undercarriage.
Road salt can damage your vehicle by eating away at its undercarriage. Use a garden hose with as much water pressure as your system can muster to loosen winter grime and salt. Or, if you have a movable lawn sprinkler that’s low enough, set that under the vehicle to wash away what you can’t reach. Did you know that Danny’s Upholstery is located next to Green Clean Auto Car Wash at the corner of Independence Blvd and Pleasure House Rd.? Stop by our shop at 4904 Rutherford Rd, Virginia Beach for a free estimate.
3. Check the tires.
Tire pressure changes about 1 pound per square inch for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit change in outside temperature, so it’s important to check tire pressure after weather changes. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended pressure for your tire, and never exceed that. Always check pressure when the tires are cold, since driving even a couple of miles to the gas station can provide a false reading. Higher pressure generally results in improved steering response and fuel economy, but a stiffer ride, and it wears out the tread in the center. Under inflation generally provides a smoother ride, but it causes tires to wear out at the sides. It also wastes gas because tires need more power to push the vehicle.
4. Check wiper blades.
Your wipers work hard all winter removing dirt and debris, including salt spray. Since the life expectancy of a wiper blade is six months to a year, check that the blades are making full contact with the windshield and have not dried out. Don’t wait for a heavy spring or summer rainstorm to discover your blades aren’t performing properly. Also, refill the wiper fluid tank.
5. Rotate the tires.
This is a relatively simple car care procedure that will extend the tread life of your tires, and should be done roughly every 5,000-10,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for exact intervals. A good rule is to rotate tires after every oil change. Many oil change establishments offer tire rotation or check to see if your tire dealer offers free rotation throughout the life of your tires. Mileage restrictions can apply.
6. Change the oil and oil filter.
Some car manufacturers recommend changing to a heavyweight oil to help the engine perform more efficiently during hotter weather. Most cars now have recommended oil grades of 5W-30, 10W-30 or 10W-40 — your owner’s manual will tell you which. Change the oil filter each time you change the oil, since it’s obvious that a dirty filter won’t keep the new oil clean.
7. Change the air filter.
The air filter prevents dust and other impurities from getting into the combustion chambers of the cylinders, resulting in wasted gas and weaker engine performance. According to the Car Care Council, replacing a clogged filter can improve mileage by as much as 10 percent. The time-honored way to check for dirt is to hold the filter up to the light, but since many new filters show light when dirty, or show no light when clean, it is more reliable to change the air filter every six months, and more often in dusty locations.
8. Flush and fill your cooling system.
This is cheap insurance against engine failure. The Car Care Council recommends flushing every two years, or 24,000 miles for most vehicles. Simply draining your radiator is not enough; you need to flush the system with a radiator flush product, not just plain water, to remove stubborn rust, grease and sediment. Then, refill with a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water. (If you live in a more severe climate, increase the percentage of coolant to about 70.)
9. Check the radiator and gas caps.
A snug radiator cap helps raise the cooling system pressure, giving added protection against boiling over. Radiator caps don’t last forever, so replace yours whenever you flush the cooling system. Pressure recommendations vary, so get the right cap for your vehicle model. With gas at record prices, be sure there’s a tight seal on the gas cap, too, to prevent that high-priced octane from vaporizing. Nearly 20 percent of vehicles have gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing altogether, wasting some 147 million gallons of gas every year.
10. Check the battery and spark plugs.
Make sure battery posts and connections are secure and free of corrosion. Spark plugs fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles. That’s a lot of heat and wear and tear in the form of electrical and chemical erosion. Dirty spark plugs cause misfiring, which wastes fuel. If you’re planning a long trip, consider replacing the battery and spark plugs if they are more than two years old.
11. Clean the compartments and car interior.
Appearances are important, no matter what the season. Discard the debris that’s been hibernating under the seats all winter, then attack the interior with the most powerful vacuum cleaner you can find. Remove the floor mats to vacuum or wash outside the car. Open the trunk, remove the spare tire and jack and vacuum here, too. Before returning the spare, check its pressure. Most likely it will need air, so remember to do that the next you time you fill the tank. Road dust, coffee stains and fingerprints have no appeal any time of the year, so after vacuuming, use a spray vinyl cleaner and a soft cloth on the dashboard, steering wheel, door panels and seats. That also helps protect against cracking, sun damage and fading. A good household upholstery cleaner is fine for fabric seats; for leather seats, follow manufacturer’s recommendations. Next is an aerosol silicone spray to treat the weather stripping around the outside of doors, windows and the trunk. Be sure to wipe away the excess.
Whew — all done! Finally, you’re ready to wash and wax. Ordinary dishwashing liquid in a bucket of water and a clean, soft sponge will do nicely for the washing, using a different sponge for the body and the tire rims. Then buff dry to a sparkle worthy of spring sunshine, apply a protective coat of wax if necessary and treat yourself to a leisurely ride. You’ve earned it!
Danny’s Upholstery in Virginia Beach offers free estimates. Call or stop by our shop. Our current hours are Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday, 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. Additional hours available by appointment. Evening and weekend estimates, pick ups and deliveries are also available for your convenience. We can be reached by calling 757-363-5889.
For a small sample of some of our past projects, please view the video links below or visit our Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/dannysupholstery.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HDae2JbEzA Upholstery for the Home, Office, or Business
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7s5F_1xE9M Upholstery for the Auto, Boat, Motorcycle, Marine
Danny’s Upholstery is located in Virginia Beach and is Your One Stop Upholstery Shop for your auto, home, office, marine and business. Owned and operated by master craftsman, Danny White, who has over 33 years experience meeting the upholstery needs for the Hampton Roads community.
Your One Stop Upholstery Shop
4904 Rutherford Rd. Ste. 103
Virginia Beach, VA 23455