As summer approaches you may not be thinking about car maintenance, but that would be a mistake. Automobile maintenance isn't only for the winter time!
Here are 10 summer car care tips for the hotter months:
1. Check your battery
Batteries older than three years should be checked. Although they are more likely to fail in cold weather (because of the greater demands placed on them), heat can be just as tough on a battery. Battery Fluid can evaporate causing damage and accelerate corrosion.
2. Top up or change fluids
Low fluid levels decrease the ability of the vehicle to cool components and can lead to overheating, this is potentially disastrous for mechanical components. Check all fluid levels, including engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid. (Coolant makes your air conditioner work better and feel colder!)
3. Check engine belts and hoses for wear
Look for visible leaks and squeeze hoses to ensure they are firm and pliable. Pay close attention to the points where the hoses are connected and/or clamped as these are common failure points. Only carry our these inspections when the car and engine are cool and do not attempt to touch hoses or belts unless the engine is switched off. Failure to do so could result in burns or other serious injuries.
4. Keep your engine cool
Your engine relies on it’s cooling system to maintain a specific operating temperature. During summer, the cooling system has to work even harder to do its job and protect your engine from overheating. Over time, coolants can become contaminated and additives lose their effectiveness. For best results, flushing your cooling system and replacing the coolant with fresh fluid is recommended.
Tires are especially susceptible to wear and tear that can lead to blowouts in the summer heat. Keep them maintained – meaning check the air level and ensure they are inflated properly. You should also rotate them regularly for best results.
You will also want to check your spare tire to make sure it is ready to go should such an emergency arise. After all, it’s not much good having a spare tire if it is in need of repair itself.
Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; clean dirt and insects from all lenses. (To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag).
A dirty windshield is not only irritating it can cause eye fatigue and pose a safety hazard. Replace any worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises or longer stopping distances. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.
9. Prepare for an emergency
Unfortunately even when you do everything right, sometimes things just go wrong. Do yourself a favour and save some boot space for the following items. They may just save your road trip from turning into an unexpected pit stop:
-Screwdrivers and wrenches of various sizes
-Jack and Tire Iron
-Quick Fix Tire Sealant (for temporarily sealing a flat tyre to get you home or to the nearest garage)
-Water (for you and the radiator)
-Emergency flares and reflectors
-Blanket and towel
10. Prepare for fun!
Not only is it good to have your car stocked with emergency items (listed above), it's summertime and that means plenty of outdoors activities!
-Window car shades (for pets and passengers, protecting you from glare, heat and sunburn for road trips and daily use.
-Water (especially on the exterior of a jeep for off-road excursions)
-Sun shade/visor for the front windshield (To keep your car cooler whilst parked)
CONCLUSION: What a lot of people don’t realize is just how hot a vehicle can become during the summer, particularly when stuck in traffic on the freeway. Follow these basic summer car care tips to help ensure you’re not the person stranded on the side of the road this summer.
Summer Car Care Tips. (2016, November 04). Retrieved June 3, 2019, from https://www.westsideauto.com.au/summer-car-care-tips/