It’s Christmas, a time for goodwill to all mankind ‑ and motors. While you might be wondering what to buy the other half, spare your car a minute’s thought. It’s your faithful friend, willing, able and ready to support you in all you do. If you have some free time over the Christmas break, why not give something back to it? It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. And who knows? You might even enjoy it. Your motor will certainly thank you for administering just one of these Christmas car treats.
Christmas car treats: clear out the clutter
The more we use our cars, the more rubbish they seem to acquire. It’s not necessarily just old crisp packets and empty drinks bottles. There’s also that mouldy gym kit that’s been festering since mid-January when the New Year’s resolution gave out. Or maybe it’s a broken child’s pushchair and an unused spare car seat. Whatever it is, get rid of it. Car makers spend millions shaving grams off the weight of cars because carrying extra kilos around means we use more fuel.
Spent too much time snoozing on the sofa in between eating mince pies? Giving your motor a wash is a brilliant way of getting out in the fresh air, doing a bit of much-needed exercise and getting personal with your car. Not only will you be able to see the extent of any damage that might be lurking beneath the grime, you’ll also remove a layer of dirt. And at this time of year that will include salt which is corrosive to your car’s bodywork.
You’ve given it a wash, why not go a step further and wax it too. It’s more of a work out for you and it’ll restore your car’s paintwork to its former glory. It won’t just help to keep your car looking brilliant. It’ll also protect it from the kind of corrosive contaminants you’ve just washed off.
Clean the inside
Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, you could go a step further and give your car’s interior a proper clean. The first step is dusting all the flat surfaces and getting out the vacuum cleaner to give the seats and carpets a good going over. And if you’ve got the bug, you can go even further. Auto Express is a good independent assessor of various products such as car upholstery shampoos, leather restorers and interior trim cleaners.
Get a valeter in
If all this sounds like quite a lot of effort, and you’d rather pay someone else to do it, contact a professional car valeter. They’re frequently called detailers in the trade and watching a professional at work is something to behold. There are two main advantages of using a detailer. As they do it for a living, they have all the correct kit. And while they’re getting on with it, you can go and do something you enjoy more. The disadvantage is that you have to pay them. But once they’ve finished, a tired, rather shabby looking car can look almost as good as when it was first driven out of the showroom.
Book it in for a service
It’s frequently said that a serviced car is a happy car. Keeping a car regularly serviced ensures that it’s running as reliably and efficiently as possible. It enables garages to perform software updates and in many cases, catch little niggles that can turn into massive (and expensive) problems, from worn tyres to tired suspension parts. You’ll be able to compare costs for garages near you here.
Check the tyres
If you only do one piece of maintenance over the Xmas break, check your tyres. Having the correct air pressure will ensure they perform to their maximum when the roads could be at their slipperiest. It’ll also guarantee you get the most life out of your tyres and that your car returns its maximum mpg. Check the tread depth too. The legal minimum is 1.6mm but some tyre makers and safety experts warn that tyres’ performance starts to deteriorate when the tread gets to 3mm.
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Mandy is an ex-mechanic, with 22 years’ experience in the motor industry. As an in-house motoring expert, Mandy is the go-to woman for any relevant questions that our customers have; both garages and drivers. From specific problems with your car to general maintenance, Mandy is a reliable source of information and advice. Her passion for motoring is a huge factor to her success and the huge wealth of knowledge that she has. She now uses her remarkable grasp of the industry to write regular content for our readers to help drivers understand their car better, avoid being ripped off by garages and save money on their motoring requirements.