7 Tips for Looking After Your Car in the Summer
At Queens Park Garage in Bournemouth, we know that summer can cause some big issues for cars, particularly older models. Keeping up with your car maintenance can make a big difference.
Here are some simple things to check on over the hotter months of July and August and a few tips to help keep you on the road:
1. Check Your Battery
If it starts to get really hot, this can have a big effect on your battery. Even the sun on the hood of your stationary car can lift the temperature considerably.
If your battery is near the end of its expected lifespan, you are more likely to suffer from a breakdown during summer because of that extra heat. You can get a car battery tester to check that you have enough charge or you can just pop into your local garage if you have concerns and have it tested.
Warning signs are if your car is difficult to start or leaving the lights on for a while drains the power.
2. Check Your Air Con
While you don’t really notice it in the winter, your car air conditioning is going to be vital during the summer months. Unfortunately, it’s one area that drivers tend to ignore until something goes wrong. One way to make sure that your air con runs properly is actually to use it more regularly.
The last thing you want is to be stuck in a traffic jam with air conditioning that doesn’t actually work, especially if you have kids and pets in tow.
3. Check Your Tyres
Hot roads will cause significant wear and tear on tyres, especially if you are travelling a lot. Take time to regularly check the tread on your tyres as well as the pressure, particularly before a long journey. Overinflated tyres are just as bad as underinflated ones so make sure you follow your vehicle guidelines.
4. Top Up Fluids
There are two main fluids that you need to focus on – your coolant and your engine oil. If these get too low they can put a lot of stress on your engine and lead to damage. While you are at it, top up the windscreen washer bottle at the same time.
5. Replace Windscreen Wipers
Windscreens can get pretty dirty during hot spells mainly because of dust and insects. Make sure that your windscreen wipers work properly and that they don’t leave nasty smears because the rubber has eroded. A clear windscreen is important, especially if you are driving when the sun is low in the sky.
6. Have a Summer Service
If you are planning to use your car for a holiday or drive a lot for work, the summer is a good time to have a service. It basically ensures that everything is working properly from the start.
You get an oil and filter change, a visual inspection of the car and can be confident that things like your brakes are working properly and will be for the next few months.
7. Carry Some Supplies
One thing that unfortunately almost always accompanies summer holidays are traffic jams. Whenever you start off at a busy time for traffic, you want to make sure you have some supplies in the car, particularly water.
Keeping a bottle handy whenever you travel a long distance will ensure that you don’t get dehydrated when the traffic comes to a grinding halt. You might also want to include some snacks, a phone charger or two and maybe a torch in case you break down at night.