Summer Car Care Tips: The Complete Guide to Get Your Car Summer-Ready
As we see the white sheet of snow melting away and the scorching sun greeting us every day, we know it’s time to gear for another summer season. Just a while back, we were discussing winter car care tips, and just like that, we are transitioning into the other very prominent season of the UK.
Even though winters are particularly known for their strain on cars, summers can be equally stressful especially when the temperatures steeply rise. It becomes essential to take a few precautions in order to make the car summer-ready while preventing any breakdown. Who likes to be stranded in the middle of the road in the hot season?
In this article, I will be taking you through summer car care tips and essential checks that you should make to get your car summer-ready. Have a look at the Summer Guide below!
1. Air Conditioner Maintenance
The value of your air conditioner tremendously shoots up during the summer. And anyone who has been stuck in a long line without the cool air blowing in their cabin knows what it feels like. Your air conditioner usually doesn’t demand a lot of maintenance when compared to other essential components, however, there are a few checks that can make it more efficient and breakdown-proof.
Ensure that your cooling system is sufficiently topped with coolant and water in the right proportion. You must also keep the air vents free from dust, grime, and debris as they might block airflow, leading to an overheated car.
If you notice that your air-conditioner is not performing well and it has been a few years since you had it checked, it might need a recharge. Drive to your local garage and they will do the air conditioning maintenance. You can also ask the mechanic to check for any leak in the system. The most general advice is to get the air conditioner serviced every 30,000 miles or two years. However, this depends on your A/c usage also.
To keep your cabin clean, you must also replace the air filters regularly. It not only helps to keep the cabin air fresh but also is a must for anyone who suffers from hay fever.
Bonus Tip: Never start the car with the AC turned on as it presents an extra load on the battery, and could lead to a fuse. Start the car and then turn on the AC.
Tyres are a very important component of any vehicle as they serve as the point of contact between the road and the car. Even though they are extremely crucial, most of us tend to ignore the condition of the tyres until it is absolutely necessary. Summers come with high temperatures that are known to aggravate the damage present, leading to an early breakdown, loss of control, or any other such safety issue.
The summer car care tips include making sure that you monitor the tyre’s pressure regularly, keeping them in line with the manufacturer’s recommendation. Pressures tend to change with the rise and fall of the temperature, which happens very swiftly during the summers. If you notice the pressure dropping quickly, it may be indicative of a slow puncture. Maintained tyre pressure also helps to improve the fuel economy.
You should also notice the tyre tread depth, which should be at least 1.6mm to run efficiently. Apart from this, inspect the tyres for excessive wear and tear, bulges, etc. A worn-out tyre not only makes your driving a tedious process, but also presents safety risk by being more susceptible to slipping, blowouts, and much more. If your tyre looks like it can go off any moment, it might be time for a replacement.
If you’re still using the winter tyre, it is time to swap it for the summer ones.
Batteries are essential for every vehicle, but they are subjected to extreme pressure and working conditions, especially during peak winters and summers. The rise and fall in temperature make the work of a battery much harder than usual. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of the road, with the rising temperature and dead battery. It is, therefore, essential to have the battery tested at your local garage. It will ensure that the battery is functioning at the most optimal level and any fluid top-ups needed can be easily done.
In fact, battery tests in most of the garages are done for free. It is the most simple way to avoid an inconvenient summer breakdown. Moving on to our next summer car care tip!
4. Brake Checks
Your brakes make for an important feature, especially when it comes to the safety part of it. Since winters take a toll on the condition of your brakes, it may be less effective than what it is supposed to be. Extreme thermal cycling can also cause severe damage.
If you notice that the brakes are not as efficient as they used to be, and are taking a much longer time to come to a halt, it might be time for a brake inspection. Furthermore, if you hear grinding, squealing, or growling sounds, your mechanic may be able to make a proper diagnosis.
Apart from this, make sure you top up your brake fluid regularly as it affects the braking ability. While you’re handling the brake fluid, make sure you’re wearing the protective equipment since it is corrosive.
| Also Read: What to do If Your Brakes Fail While Driving? |
5. Fluid Check
Your car runs on several fluids apart from the fuel. These help to lubricate the different parts, avoid friction, and ensure the smooth functioning of the entire system. Warmer months are heavier and stressful for the car and you have to ensure that your car is not burdened by the British Sun.
The most important fluid is Engine Oil change. You can easily check its level using the dipstick method, and if lower than necessary, you can top it up. However, if you see any change in colour apart from brownish-amber, you should go for an oil change.
Next, you should take a look at the coolant and water ratio in the radiator tank, and top it up regularly, whenever needed. It is advised to change the coolant at least once a year.
Apart from this, you should also check your power steering fluid since any discrepancy there will make your drive more stressful than ever. In case the steering fluid is dirty and needs a change, you must immediately do so since the dirty fluid can damage the entire system, leaving a burning hole in your pocket.
Transmission fluid should also be checked regularly. Apart from this, like mentioned, brake fluid is essential to have an efficient braking system, and must be taken care of.
| Also Read: How to Troubleshoot an Overheating Car? |
6. Filter Check
Dirt, dust, grime, and other contaminants in the air can be your car’s biggest enemy. When you’re planning to get your car summer-ready, it is a good idea to inspect the engine air filter as well as the cabin air filter.
Dust in the engine not only reduces the fuel efficiency but can also hamper the functioning of the entire system. Similarly, as discussed in the air conditioner point, a clean cabin air filter keeps the air quality of the vehicle clean and fresh.
Make sure you do a visual inspection of the filters and clean or replace them if necessary.
There is no doubt that poor visibility leads to many accidents and mishaps. The harsh winters are especially hard on the wiper and windshield. If you see any crack, splits, or any other damage, it’s time for a replacement. Damaged wipers will not only do a poor job in cleaning but might also scratch or damage the windscreen while performing the duties.
Glare from the sun can worsen when you have a dirty windscreen. Make sure you keep the washer fluid topped up so it can be used anytime.
Apart from this check all the lights to ensure that they are working properly. Starting from the headlights, signals, to the taillights and brakes. Get them replaced if they don’t seem to be working.
8. Interiors & Exteriors
Cleaning your car is essential in every season. However, after winters, it might be time to clean the salt and grit stuck to understand the car, panel gaps, and other places. You can either opt for a car wash elsewhere or use the necessary materials at home.
The sun might make your car shine a lot, but it is actually working to damage the car. It is extremely crucial to protect the paintwork from the damaging sun rays by coating it with wax. Waxing your car acts as a sunscreen for the paint, and keeps your car maintained for a long time. Similarly, if you have leather seats, you might want to park in a shade.
Hope this summer car care guide was beneficial to you. For more information and article, keep watching this space.