Ok, so spring is finally here (if you believe the reports). With the change of the seasons comes a renewed love of your truck. It has gotten you to work on days that you should not have been driving, gotten the kids to school when the district thought a “snow day” wasn’t needed, all of the appointments that just didn’t care about the weather and it has done so without fail or complaint. So now, it is time to show it the love it deserves.
Start with a good washing. Magnesium Chloride (mag chloride) has been used since the '90s, and does a great job keeping our roads safe during the winter, but there is a downside to this corrosive chemical. It must be washed immediately from cars and trucks, including the undercarriages, to prevent corrosion of electrical wires, nuts, brake parts and even suspension parts. Now, be honest, did you wash your truck after every snow storm? I’m betting no. So get in there and clean it up and inspect everything. Ball joints, tie rod ends, link kits (these tend to go first), and change them out as needed. You may even need to do some touch up on the undercoating at this point.
Let’s move on to some of the no brainers … Change the oil. Even if you didn’t drive it much this winter, it still needs fresh oil and a filter. Check the air filter. If you are using a paper filter, it is time to change it to a washable type, which offers better mileage, longer life and better performance. If you are already running a K&N, or another performance filter, it is time for a cleaning (cleaning kit #KNN99-5000 $9.32). This kit will wash and treat your filter many times over, so you should still have some on the self. Check the mileage since the last tune up, and perform as needed.
The winter months have done a number on the exterior of your truck, and now is the time to address it. It’s already good and clean, and I’m betting in need of a good wax and polishing. Use a good wax, and spend the time to polish it right. If you’re not comfortable doing this step yourself, there is nothing wrong with taking it to a professional, well worth the investment. During this step, you should polish up any chrome that has suffered during the winter. Tires and wheels. These, more than anything else (just my opinion), make or break the truck. Do the wheels need to be polished? Are they chrome with a little rust starting to show? Are they painted, and in need of some touch up? All of these things are easy to take care of yourself, and provide an instant improvement to your trucks appearance. Clean and shine up the tires, and you'll be ready to roll in style.
All that is left is cleaning up the interior. Vacuum and shampoo the carpet. There are many automotive carpet shampoos on the market, and most do a good job. Don’t forget to leave the windows open for a while so the carpet can dry. A good leather cleaner and protectant are a must. The leather can dry out even faster in the cold, dry winters. Wipe down the dash, door panels and any other hard surfaces, and you can call this done.
Now that the truck is clean and ready to go, it deserves a night on the town. Take it out and show it off some. And don’t worry, you can get it muddy next weekend.