Category Archives: Blog

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How to prepare yourself and your car for track day

Watching YouTube videos of the Acura NSX ripping up corners at various tracks around the world can have an inspiring effect. Here’s what the view from the cockpit is like during a hot lap of the iconic Laguna Seca in California. And here’s how it handled when we took it to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park:


But the truth is that no amount of video footage, now matter how high the resolution, can substitute for the real thing. As a member of the Policaro Group and proud supporter of the Policaro Motorsport teams, we’re all for getting out on the track and safely testing the limits. Whether you’re behind the wheel of an NSX or any other car, here’s how to make sure your machine, your body and your mind are prepared for the challenge of track day.

Driving Technique

Driving on the road IS NOT THE SAME as driving on the track. They require completely different skillsets. Even if you’ve been commuting for years without any problems, you may not be ready to push your car’s limit on a circuit without a little preparation.

This is why most tracks offer driving instructors (and many actually REQUIRE that a coach be with you on your first track day). These people all have more experience than you do, will show you how to safely enter and exit the pits and teach you proper on-track etiquette. Keep an open mind, accept that you aren’t the reincarnation of Ayrton Senna and you’ll have a great time.

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Equipment

Make sure to go to your track of choice’s website and peruse the safety requirements for track days. Some tracks require helmets, long sleeves and/or long pants. Regardless of those requirements, you should wear closed shoes with thin soles. Expensive driving shoes aren’t necessary—sneakers are fine.

Under the Hood

Of course, the easiest way to make sure your car is running at peak performance is to take it to a specialist. But even if you aren’t a certified mechanic, there are some things you can do to ensure your car’s mechanical bits are ready to be pushed. Make sure the various fluids—power steering, power brake, coolant—are topped up. Also check your oil’s level and state; if it’s black and opaque, consider having it changed.

Apart from that, just make sure there are no loose parts or squeaking belts under the hood, and you should be good to go.

Tires

First of all, it’s important to make sure that your vehicle can handle a few laps at high-speed. And since the only link between said track and your car is the rubber donuts on those shiny rims of yours, let’s start there. First, check the air pressure and adjust it if necessary; you can find the recommended pressure on a sticker located on the driver side doorsill. Also, make sure your tires are not too worn and don’t show uneven wear. If the inside or the outside of the tire is almost bald while the rest of the surface still shows plenty of tread, you may have a suspension or alignment issue. If the tires are evenly worn, consider changing them. Not only will you be able to go faster on the track, but you’ll also be safer on the street.

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And once again, remember that track days aren’t the same as races. You’re not racing against other people, and the only thing you can beat is your lap time. If someone is clearly faster than you in the corners, let them through when it is safe to do so… Even if you can dust him off on the straights. Yes, getting passed by a Miata is kind of embarrassing, but look at it as an enriching experience. Observe how the driver is taking the corners, where he is braking and think of how you can use this to improve your own technique.

Happy (and safe) driving out there!

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The 2019 Acura RDX comes out swinging, breaks sales records. Here’s what all the fuss is about

Deep down, every automaker expects all their new models to be successful. Apart from the rare case when a vehicle is produced to prove a point or celebrate a milestone, etc., great sales number are all but expected after investing untold amounts of money and energy to modernize a vehicle.

However, even Acura is pleasantly surprised at the level of success the newly redesigned 2019 RDX is currently experiencing; throughout North America, the popular luxury crossover has been shattering sales records. 

In June, Acura reported that the 2019 RDX sold 949 units throughout Canada, instantly becoming one of the brand’s strongest debuts.

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Same thing goes for our slightly more Southern cousins in the US: having sold 7,292 units in June, the RDX obliterated the record for “most units sold in a month,” which was set by the MDX back in 2014 (6,761 units). With these strong numbers, Acura sold more SUVs in one month than ever before, totaling 11,185 units.

So why has the 2019 RDX had such a good summer? Well, thanks to novel technologies and Acura’s attention to detail, the crossover has everything to charm potential buyers.

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Its new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder develops 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, helping both fuel economy and overall performance. Same goes for the ten-speed automatic gearbox: whether you are looking to maximize fuel economy or out-accelerate the car in the next lane to merge, this modern unit can almost make you forget it’s there. Acura’s SH-AWD system, meanwhile, ensures you will get to your destination regardless of the road conditions.

Inside, drivers are treated to a wide variety of available equipment, from the heated seats and steering wheel to 4G-LTE WiFi connectivity, Apple CarPlay and large infotainment screens. The leather interior is another of Acura’s best. Boasting impressive build quality and luxurious materials, the RDX looks and feels like the best money can buy.

Have you noticed any 2019 Acura RDXs on the roads? Judging by this out-of-the-gate success, you will soon. At this rate, you might even be the one behind the wheel.

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5 reasons to consider buying a demo Acura

When it comes to purchasing a new vehicle at a dealership, many people consider two options: new or pre-owned. Both options come with their own advantages and should definitely be considered, but did you know that there’s another lesser-known option at the dealership? The demo vehicle. And, depending on what you’re looking for, it may represent the best deal on the lot.

Demo vehicles (also known as demonstrators) are vehicles that have been driven on test drives by customers or as short-term daily drivers by dealership executives and are therefore offered at a reduced price. For the savvy buyer who knows what she wants, these should not be overlooked.

So, why buy a demo vehicle? Here are five reasons to consider.

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Reduced Capital Cost

Everyone knows that the value of a new vehicle depreciates the moment the odometer starts ticking. Demo vehicles are no different. When the number on the odometer of a demo goes up, the overall cost goes down. Despite being like-new with most of the same benefits, many demos are markedly cheaper thanks to a reading of a few thousand kms on the dash.

No Freight Charge

Getting a car from the factory where it was assembled to the facility from which it will be sold is a large undertaking, and most of the time it isn’t free for the purchaser. New vehicles often include a Freight Charge in addition to the sticker price. When the vehicle has been used as a demo, however, the fee is removed.

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No Pre-Delivery Inspection Charge

When new vehicles arrive at a dealership, they undergo what’s called a pre-delivery inspection (PDI), where the dealership’s certified technicians carefully examine the vehicle and ensure it’s properly setup and calibrated for delivery. For demo vehicles, the dealership absorbs this fee, not the purchaser.

All Rebates and Incentives Apply

It’s not a new car, but it is. Demos enjoy all the same rebates and incentives as new vehicles, so purchasers can take advantage of varying lease and finance options. 

The Best Trims & Options

Because the purpose is to showcase a particular car’s notable strengths and perks, demo vehicles are often ordered in the top-of-the-line trim with the best options. These fully outfitted models are usually in short supply, so if you’re seeking a specific car with a specific package, colour or option, be sure to check out the available demos.

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Check out our current Acura demo vehicles here.

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The story of how Drake gave away two Acura’s for a music video

Drake went on an impressive $1M giveaway spree while putting together his recent chart-topping music video, God’s Plan. Call it kindness, call it good PR, call it whatever you want. One thing’s clear: it makes for an entertaining video.

Along with benevolent behavior like buying groceries for an entire store of shoppers, giving cash to families and scholarships to students, Drake also gifted not one but two Acura TLXs to unsuspecting members of the Miami community.

Now, usually when cars make appearances in mainstream music videos, it’s because the brand helped fund the video. But the reason Drake chose Acura wasn’t because the brand was a sponsor.

The truth is, the Southern Ontario native has something of a soft spot for the luxury Japanese cars because in his teens, he got around the GTA in a 2004 Acura TSX. So much so that, when the producers had planned for Honda Civics to be gifted, Drake changed the plans last minute to go with his old fav, which he’s been known to rap about.

Check out the video. The Acuras and their elated new owners make their appearance around the 4:30 mark.

On Wednesday evening, Peterson, one of the first patients Project Medishare medevaced from Haiti to South Florida after the 2010 earthquake, received the surprise of a lifetime when Grammy award winning hip hop artist Drake @champagnepapi presented him with a brand new car. Congratulations Peterson and thank you Drake for your generosity toward such an amazing young man! _____ After the January 12, 2010 earthquake, then 9-year-old Peterson spent four days trapped under a mountain of concrete blocks. When his mother heard him yelling for help, a group of men and women freed him from the rubble, block by block with their bare hands. Suffering from severe injuries, Peterson found his way to Project Medishare’s field hospital on the grounds of the Port-au-Prince airport after being turned away by three other hospitals. Soon after, he boarded a medical flight to Miami, and underwent 16 reconstructive surgeries at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. _____ Dr. Chad Perlyn, a pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon, was volunteering with Project Medishare at the field hospital when he first met Peterson. He has maintained a bond with him ever since, and considers Peterson part of his family. He was there for Peterson’s special surprise from Drake. _____ For the last eight years, Peterson has been living in Little Haiti with his mom. They’re in the United States under the Temporary Protected Status program. Now a 17-year-old in high school, Peterson has adjusted well to his new life and has been thriving in his new home. He is a talented ballet dancer and dreams of attending The Juilliard School, though his future is uncertain due to the pending termination of TPS for Haitians. _____ #haiti #ayiti #haitian #philanthropy #giveback #drake #godsplan #projectmedishare

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A-Spec Beauty & Details

The 2019 Acura RDX arrives this month. Here’s everything you need to know

Remember when we told you about the all-new Acura RDX that was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show? Well, the next generation of Acura’s best-selling SUV has arrived in Canada. Read on to discover previously unrevealed details about the 2019 Acura RDX.

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The RDX is the first Acura to be redesigned from the ground-up to include the brand’s latest styling cues. If you take a closer a look at the Jewel Eye LED headlights and the lower air dams of the front bumper, you’ll notice how well they flow with the creased body panels. Inside, both driver and passengers will appreciate the LED accents and the full-size moonroof, both standard equipment on the 2019 RDX.

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As for what’s sitting under the hood, you’ll be happy to know that Canadians are getting the good stuff. Regardless of the trim level, the 2019 RDX will feature a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder that will send power to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This capable engine will generate 272 horsepower and an impressive torque rating of 280 lb-ft. And since our average weather includes significantly more snow than our southern cousins, you’ll be happy to know that every variant of the RDX will feature Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system. And if you need to tow, the RDX will accommodate trailers up to 1,500 lbs.

Despite all this, the 2019 RDX will be fuel-efficient, managing consumption numbers as low as 11 litres per 100 km in the city. On the highway, that number dips as low as 8.6 litres per 100 km.

The 2019 RDX will also feature an A-Spec version. This sportier SUV will feature exclusive A-SPEC front and rear fascia, dual oval exhaust finishers, 20-inch Shark Gray split 5-spoke wheels, and more.

If you are as hyped to see the all-new 2019 Acura RDX as we are, here is the last bit of good news: the SUV took centre-stage in our showroom on June 15. Book a test drive and witness the greatness for yourself.

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Via YouTube.

The Most Memorable Acura Pop Culture Moments

Feature image via YouTube.

Sometimes the biggest stars in film aren’t human at all.

Though its cars have never had a speaking role, Acura has certainly held its fair share of on-screen moments. The next time someone tells you that Acura doesn’t make cars exciting enough for the silver screen, remind them that if they were good enough for Quentin Tarantino and Vin Diesel…

Here are five memorable Acura moments in pop culture. Which is your fav?

Pulp Fiction (1994)

The Acura NSX made its Hollywood debut in Quentin Tarantino’s now iconic Pulp Fiction where Winston Wolf (played by Harvey Keitel) drives off in the silver sports car, leaving Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L Jackson) in the dust. It was the first of many times this two-seater would show up on the big screen.

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

In the early aughts, the world was introduced to Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’conner (Paul Walker) in a flick that made illegal street racing look oh-so cool. But it was Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) maneuvering a 1994 Acura Integra GS-R to impress Brian with her serious driving skills that was (and still is) one of the stand-out scenes.

Ludacris – Act A Fool (2003)

In the second installment of FATF, rapper Ludacris’ character, Tej Parker (a mechanic and former street racer), was brought back yet again, and this time Luda (an Acura admirer in real life) released an official music vid for the flick where a handful of sports car, including his beloved 1991 NSX are spotted.

Fast Five (2011)

Ten years after the initial film, in the fifth instalment of Fast and the Furious, Mia Toretto was back behind the wheel of an Acura, this time a badass black 2003 Acura NSX (though the car bore the Honda emblem back then). Even the trailer saw Mia pushing the limits of the NSX, racing alongside a transport truck.

The Avengers (2012)

Marvel’s The Avengers was a major box office success, not to mention a thrill to watch thanks to several Acura concept vehicles including Tony Stark’s Acura NSX roadster–one of the first times Iron Man drove anything but an Audi.

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Here’s what to do for Mother’s Day if you’re just thinking about it now

Last-minute gift and celebration ideas that will make it seem like you’ve been planning for ages.

Some holidays tend to sneak up on us. It happens. For example, it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday! If you’re prepared, great. If not, read on, because we’ve compiled a list of 10 last-minute gift/celebration ideas that dear old Mom is sure to love. From simple DIYs to fun outings to thoughtful projects, here are 9 last-minute Mother’s Day gift/celebration ideas, many of which don’t require you to buy anything at all.

Plan a movie night

A few snacks and a copy of her favourite old movie can be a thoughtful gift, especially if you plan to stick around to watch it with her. A bottle of wine might be nice, too, unless of course Mom prefers Scotch.

Bake something, anything

Even and especially if you’re not the baking type. Picture her face when you hand her a plate of poppyseed muffins and tell her you baked them yourself.

Poppy’s for days! Crumb shot for the win

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A brunch to remember

Brunch gets talked up a lot these days, so if you want to make a culinary statement between the hours of 11 AM and 2 PM, you’re going to have to pull out all the stops. A trip to the grocery store may be in order. Here’s a list of sure-to-impress brunch ideas.

A bouquet of Mom’s favourites

You’re not going to score any points for originality, and you may be subjected to a tragically long lineup at the florist, but there’s a reason why flowers are one of the most popular gifts on Mother’s Day. They’re pretty, brighten up most any space, and affordable. What’s your mother’s favourite flower?

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Dinner date

Repay the countless meals she prepared for you over the years with an evening at a restaurant, like any of these GTA standards that offer valet parking. This is a simple gesture, but if you don’t get out for meals together often, it’s sure to be appreciated.

A walk (or drive) in the park

Mothers in the GTA have the good fortune of being able to celebrate Mother’s Day while the local cherry trees are in full bloom. Tell Ma to put on her walking shoes and take her to High Park for a stroll under the blossoms.

Get theatrical

If you’re in or near a large city like Toronto, which has the famed Mirvish Theatre downtown on King Street, take a look at the upcoming shows and see if there’s something fun that will get your mother’s toes tapping. Upcoming shows in Toronto include Wicked, Chicago, Mama Mia (perfect for the occasion) and more.

Floral tea bags

Tea time takes a delightful (and super simple) twist with this super simple DIY project via The Kipi Blog.

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Fridge yourself

Even if you don’t have a frame, print off a photo of you (or you and her, or the family, or the dog, whatever) and tuck it inside a card with a thoughtful note.

DIY face masks

Take the spa to her with an easy and fun at-home face mask.


Feature image Via Wikipedia

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Coming soon: the 2019 Acura MDX A-Spec

Not every new variant of vehicle is newsworthy, but Acura’s A-Spec on the MDX, the best-selling three-row luxury SUV ever, is definitely worth a headline. Here’s an oldie but a goodie: this sporty SUV is coming to a dealer near you!

The 2019 MDX A-Spec got a surprise debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show last month, joining the existing A-Spec models, the ILX A-Spec and TLX A-Spec, as well as the 2019 RDX A-Spec, which was also revealed at the New York show.

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The newest MDX comes exclusively with torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), and a pick between the 290 or 352-hp powertrains.

Naturally, you can’t have new threads without new shoes; the MDX A-Spec sits on exclusive 10-spoke, 20-inch Shark Grey allow wheels fitted with low profile tires. Forwarding the message of sportiness are other exterior changes like new front fascia, pronounced sills, wider exhaust tips, and gloss-black and dark chrome trim around the tailgate spoiler, grille and headlights.

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The interior gets sports seats in your choice of red or black leather with Alcantara leather detailing, red contrast stitching, a unique steering wheel with paddle shifters, faux carbon console trim, sport pedals and A-Spec gauges that light up in red.

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Beneath the A-Spec badge is the luxury SUV that drivers and critics alike have come to know and trust. The 2018 Acura MDX was recently voted Best Large Utility Vehicle in Canada by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. It’s quiet and comfortable, with useful trim options beyond the A-Spec—like the Elite package, which swaps the second-row bench seat for two captains chairs—and loads of standard safety features. The brand’s AcuraWatch suite comes standard, with Adaptive Cruise Control with low-speed follow and Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Collision Mitigation Braking System.

The Acura MDX A-Spec will be available at Policaro Acura in the coming months. Contact us to pre-book a test drive.

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6 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Small changes, big impact.

There are days when it feels like the world is tearing apart at the seams and all we can do is watch from the sidelines. As global temperatures rise, glaciers are melting and animals are fleeing their natural habitats. According to National Geographic, if we continue on this path of environmental destruction, our future generations will face a slew of unpleasantries–all of which sound like the main conflict in an apocalyptic thriller–including an increase in hurricanes and destructive storms, floods as well as droughts, and limited fresh water.

It’s scary stuff, but there are actions we can take in our daily lives that have a positive impact on this planet we call home. On April 22nd, the 48th annual Earth Day will take place, encouraging the world’s inhabitants–that’s you!–to “consume less, play more,” and we’ve got a handful of ways to make small changes in your day-to-day life that can have a big impact on your eco footprint.

Here are six simple ways to celebrate Earth Day 2018.

 

Join the ‘No Straw, Please’ movement.

The #nostrawplease movement encourages people to stop using plastic straws, and is a simple yet effective way to immediately cut down on waste. The movement gained popularity after a video of a sea turtle with a straw lodged in its nostril went viral, and since then, both large chain eateries and independently-owned bars alike are saying so-long to straws. Still, if you end up somewhere that offers them, take it upon yourself to politely decline. (EarthDay.org has a handy plastic consumption calculator to figure out how much of the synthetic material you’re using.)

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And cut out the plastic water bottles, too.

Did you check out that aforementioned plastic consumption calculator yet? Because it has a spot to track your plastic water bottle waste, too. Instead, buy a reusable bottle that speaks to you, and get in the habit of packing it everywhere you go. You’ll feel good about limiting your plastic use, but not only that, some coffee shops offer a discount if you BYOB (Bringing Your Own Bottle), so it’s a win-win.

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Get outside and plant a tree. Seriously.

Reforestation does long-term good for the planet. “Trees filter the air and help reverse the impacts of climate change,” explains the EarthDay.org website. “In just one year, a mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen as 10 people inhale.” Organize a tree planting day at your child’s school or gather some neighbours and plant new foliage at a local green space or in someone’s yard. If that sounds too labour intensive, you can always put your money where your mouth is–$1 equals one tree planted when you donate to the Canopy Project (a legit organization which is part of the Earth Day Network).

Drive an eco-friendly vehicle.

Opting for an eco-conscious vehicle that uses electricity or electricity and hydrogen-based fuel as your daily driver can drastically reduce your carbon footprint. Acura has a couple of outstanding hybrid options–the performance sedan RLX and the midsize SUV MDX–that drastically reduce fuel consumption. For example, the non-hybrid 2018 RLX is rated at 11.8/8.1/10.2 L/100km city/highway/combined while the RLX Sport Hybrid is rated at 8.4/8.1/8.4 L/100km).  2018 Acura RLX

Go paperless wherever possible.

Paper bills feel incredibly dated and so wasteful. Switch all of your services–think hydro, water, internet and television, banking–to paperless bills. According to the Financial Post, in 2014 Bell Canada said the company was saving around 30,000 trees a year because of its customers going paperless.

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Install a Smart Home System.

A tech device like a smart home system will make you feel like James Bond, as you secretly control all of the electronic devices in your house from some exotic Caribbean beach (or, in reality, your office). Smart home systems allow you to lower your electricity consumption by dimming or turning off unnecessary lights that may have been forgotten, or even setting the temperature a few degrees lower to conserve energy. Not only will you be happy about a lower hydro bill, but the planet will be smiling, too.

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How to get your car ready for spring

Spring is a great time to press the reset button and clean things up. Nature does it, homeowners do it, and so should car owners. From changing tires to cleaning the undercarriage, here’s how to get your car ready for spring.

Change your winter tires back to your all-season tires

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Ah the Ontario winter. So generous it is that it sometimes continues to give its frozen gifts well into spring. Just when think you’re safe to change your tires, Ontario gets hit with an April blizzard. If you want to play it safe, wait until you get a few days in a row at 10 degrees Celsius or higher — usually mid-March or later —  before you make the switch.

Check your tire pressure

Once you get your all-season tires back on, it’s time to check their pressure as compared to the recommended pressure settings in your manual. If you don’t own one already, buy a tire gauge – we recommend a digital gauge for greater accuracy – and make sure your tires are ready to take on snow-free roadways.

Have your dealership check your tire alignment

Winter driving can take a toll on your alignment since that’s the worst time of year for overall road conditions. If there’s a statistic for “average potholes driven over per month”, the winter months would surely be in the lead. If you haven’t had your tires rotated in a while, this might be a good time to do it.

Thoroughly clean your car inside and out

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Simple, right? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. If you live in areas where roadways get salted, it’s imperative that you take your car through a car wash that features undercarriage cleaning so you can protect it from rust damage. That takes care of the exterior, and then you can shake out your floor mats, vacuum out the seats and carpet, and remove any garbage or clutter. If you really take pride in your car, consider taking it to a professional detailer so you can truly get it looking and smelling like new again.

Don’t forget about the small stuff

You don’t want to learn the hard way, during that first spring rain shower, that your wipers are shot, so make sure to address the small stuff. What state are the floor mats in? Should you order some new ones? Or how about the mud flaps?

Following these spring-specific tips and making sure you continue to follow your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for oil changes, air filters, cooling system, etc. will ensure you’re as ready as you can be for the spring driving season.