Summer is almost here, and for 90% of the country, it can't come soon enough! The country has suffered through a long, hard, winter, and people can't wait to bask in the sun and head outdoors. With vacation time looming, no doubt you're already planning lots of road trips to amusement parks, the beach, the mountains, or your favorite lake. I am planning lots of day trips to nearby museums, attractions, lakes, and beaches. We will also be visiting the UK, and I'm going to be driving to London for the first time ever, on the "wrong" side of the road! Finally, when Alfie joins us, we'll be going on a weeklong road trip to Scotland. I can't wait!
Before you go, don't forget to make sure your vehicle is as ready for summer as you are. WaterSavers®, a consumer awareness campaign from the International Carwash Association® (ICA), has four great, eco-friendly car tips to get you back on the road:
1. Wash your car at a professional car wash. Winter months can be especially hard on your vehicle and washing your car is an easy first step to making your car feel new again. Using a professional car wash is a great way to protect the environment. According to the International Carwash Association, WaterSavers professional car washes use an average of 40 gallons of water or less per car while recycling and filtering their water to prevent harmful chemicals from going into our rivers and streams. Professional car washes also remove salt from the undercarriage of your vehicle, which is a must after a long winter. By comparison, the average home washing machine uses 41 gallons per cycle, and a garden hose uses 63 gallons of water in just five minutes. You can learn more, and find a WaterSavers wash at Washwithwatersavers.com.
2. Give the inside a deep clean. Winter’s elements are hard on the outside of your car, but many people forget the abuse the vehicle’s interior takes as well. Think of how many times you’ve crawled into your vehicle with dirty, snowy feet and you can begin to understand why cleaning the inside is necessary. Apply some baking soda and a rubber sponge to your floor mats for an environmentally friendly and efficient clean. Then, wipe down interior surfaces with a microfiber cloth and vacuum the fabric and floor to remove dirt, sand, salt and dust.
3. Don’t forget the maintenance check. Winter is finally over, but that doesn’t mean your vehicle can skip an overall maintenance check, especially if you want to save energy. Make sure to have your oil changed and give your vehicle an once-over. Check the fluid levels as well. The more efficiently your vehicle runs, the more gas you’ll save.
4. How’s your tire pressure and alignment? Low tire pressure will cause your vehicle to overexert itself and waste gas so make sure your tires are up to the task. Your tires list their recommended pressure on the side. If you can’t find it, you can find the recommended tire pressure in your owner’s manual. It is also a good idea to have a certified technician conduct an alignment test since it could have been thrown off by driving over pot holes during the winter months.
Win a Water Savers prize packOne lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will receive a special prize pack from WaterSavers to help you gear up for your upcoming summer road trips. The prize pack includes:
- · Gap Stick: A versatile auto accessory to help access the hard-to-reach areas of a vehicle. Designed with a strong magnetic hook, the gap stick can pick up a key ring, jewelry or anything else that has slipped between the seat and the center console.
- · Phone Caddy: A plastic phone holder that clips to air vents in any vehicle to keep your phone in view for GPS usage and close to charging outlets.
- · Auto Trash Bag: A sleekly designed bag with a bottom zippered compartment for extra garage bags or hand wipes.
- · $50 Visa Gift Card
Leave a comment on this post and share a suggestion for getting your vehicle ready for summer road trips -- or share a description of the road trip you are planning for this summer.
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This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on June 15, 2014; I will draw a winner at random, on June 16 and post their name after they confirm acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here.
Disclosure: Thanks to the International Carwash Association for providing the giveaway prize pack as well as a second prize pack for me. WaterSaver tips (in italics) is provided by the International Carwash Association. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.