Chicago Auto Show Blog

Expert Fall Car Care Advice

Posted by: Jennifer Morand

As both the leaves and the temperatures begin to fall—at least that’s the case for Chicagoland and Midwestern states—now is a great time to ensure your vehicle is properly equipped for the fall and winter seasons ahead. The month of October also happens to be National Fall Car Care Month, so we thought now is a great time to reconnect with our friend Mike Schultz, VP of Research and Development at Turtle Wax (also known in the detailing community as “Dr. Turtle”), to share his top tips for car care and safety as we approach the colder, harsher months ahead. The link to the video interview and demonstration is found on Drive Chicago's YouTube channel
Q1: Let’s begin with tires as they’re key for keeping your vehicle grounded to the pavement despite seasonal weather conditions like falling leaves, wet roads and frost. What recommendations do you have for ensuring my tires are ready for the season? 
A1: The first step to ensuring you have safe tires for the season ahead is to check for wear and tear. You can tell your tires are worn if you see unevenness in the tread. As a general rule of thumb, tires on vehicles with 20,000-30,000 miles need to be closely checked for uneven wear, especially front-wheel-drive vehicles. Keep a look out for cracks and bulges in the tire sidewalls as well. If you find wear, those tires should be replaced as soon as possible before the seasons ahead, especially given the fact that winter in Chicago really lasts around five or so months! 
Q2: With Daylight Savings Time around the corner, the days become shorter with darkness setting in earlier and sticking around longer in the mornings. What tips do you have for better visibility for vehicles, specifically related to headlights and taillights? 
A2: Yes, good visibility is extremely important for people who are out on the road early or late when it tends to be darker out. The first step is to make sure the clarity of your lenses is at optimum condition. If you determine they’re in good condition, use a spray coating, spray wax or a good liquid cleaner to keep them that way throughout the season. The waxes will create a barrier between the lens and the outdoor elements. If instead you notice oxidation or yellowing in your lenses, Turtle Wax Speed Headlight Lens Restorer Kit can help correct that to create more clarity. Plus, it will last for about six months.
Q3: Since many people travel during the fall and winter seasons, what products or essentials do you recommend always keeping on hand inside your vehicle? 
A3: I always recommend keeping a microfiber cloth in your side door panel. That’s key. Microfibers are great for doing a quick exterior clean or wiping up an interior spill. It’s also good to keep a generic detailer spray such as Hybrid Solutions 3-in-1 Detailer. A product like this will come in handy for a quick wipe down when needed.
Q4: What else do I need to consider having on hand to keep the interior of my car clean and disinfected?
A4: One product I always recommend people keeping in their vehicle is Turtle Wax’s Multi-Purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant. This product is a really good catch-all for all types of interior cleaning, from proper sanitization (kills 99.9% of germs) to safely cleaning spills, for example. Whatever interior cleaning product you choose, it’s important to remember that it must be safe to use as not all disinfectants are approved on materials found inside vehicles.
Q5: What advice do you have for ensuring your vehicle’s exterior is looking great, before and after taking a road trip? 
A5: I recommend first washing your car to remove most of the exterior grime, and then if there aren’t any excessive surface contaminants or paint imperfections, use Turtle Wax’s Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating, which works fantastic in terms of providing good durability and shine. It’s important to get a good spray coating on the vehicle to seal the paint and get it through the winter months. Basically, you spray it directly on the paint—two sprays are really all you’ll need per panel— then wipe it down with a microfiber cloth, and you’re set for several months.
Q6: What about harder-to-remove exterior gunk like tree sap? 
A6: For that, you will likely need something specific, something more like Turtle Wax Bug & Tar Remover. It works great for those tougher, stubborn stains. 
For more tips and tricks from Dr. Turtle, be sure to visit the “Car Care” tab on or check out Turtle Wax on YouTube for how-to tutorials. You can also see more video content from this interview with Dr. Turtle over at Drive Chicago’s Instagram page, under their Car Care highlights tab.
If you have additional fall car care related questions, tweet us @ChiAutoShow and @TurtleWax and we’ll do our best to answer them! 
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