Have you ever considered the strain the summer can put on your vehicle? The RAC note they often receive a 20% influx in out-calls during this period. Journeys are often longer in the Summer months and vehicles are prone to more problems, whether it’s hotter roads damaging your tyres or sun rays wearing away your exterior – here are a few things you can do to prevent an unexpected visit to the garage this Summer.
Check Your Tyre Pressure
Whilst you should routinely check the pressure of your tyres before long journeys, during the hotter months it is an absolute necessity, this is due to the fact that tyres lose their pressure faster when the roads are at a higher temperature; having under inflated tyres not only decreases your handling but also increases braking distances. The recommended pressure level should be in your owner’s manual or marked onto your vehicle’s petrol flap or driver’s door pillar.
Watch Your Coolant Levels
Overheating is a much bigger problem during summer because there isn’t as much cool air to take away the heat, the engine has to operate at a higher temperature to keep the engine cool. According to the AA, over six million motorists in the UK risk facing repair bills by failing to check their coolant level; to prevent your engine overheating, it’s recommended you check your coolant fluid level weekly.
Have Your A/C Serviced
Where would you be without your air conditioning in Summer? We recommend all vehicle owners have their AC serviced at least once every 18 months, 30,000 miles or straight away if any underperformance is noticed. Air conditioning filters also help to reduce pollen levels in vehicles for those who suffer from hay fever, an allergy which is more commonplace in hotter weather. Following recent changes to AC refrigerants, some garages may not be able to service newer cars.
Change Your Windscreen Wipers
The Great British Summer wouldn’t be what it is without the occasional downpour, but whilst the sun is out windscreen wiper blades can become dried out and cracked meaning when the rain does come, they won’t be as effective at clearing your screen and may leave streaks. Replacement blades are cheap and can be changed from home, if you’re unsure, consult your owner’s handbook or visit a garage. Additionally, throughout the summer ensure that your screen wash is adequately topped up.
Avoid Bodywork Damage
Constant UV rays can cause your car’s bodywork paint to fade, along with other interior materials like your seats. Where possible, park your car in a garage or shaded area, if you are unable to do so consider purchasing a UV cover for your vehicle. The majority of road maintenance work is carried out in the hotter months, this often leaves dust and debris on the roads that can be flicked up by cars; always be sure to drive the recommended speed limit through work zones, and don’t follow other cars too closely.
De-winterise Your Car
If you fit snow tyres for your car now’s the time to remove them, if you continue to use them your fuel economy will decrease due to their weight being heavier. We also recommend you check under your car to make sure any salt or grit that may have been sprayed onto the roads during winter hasn’t stuck to the underside of your vehicle, this salt is used to melt the snow and can damage the metal underneath your vehicle.
Our Summer Driving Checklist
If you are planning a long trip this summer, here is a list of our essentials you should always have on hand:
- GPS or up to date map, this will help you find your location If you get lost or bump into unexpected queues.
- Plenty of water, if the worst happens and you do breakdown; you will need water to keep adequately hydrated whilst you await rescue; a litre per person is a minimum recommendation.
- Windscreen washer and Brake fluid, ideally, this should always be kept in your car to prevent running out during a journey.
- Something for the kids, if you’re planning a long journey with children – don’t forget to pack away a game for them to prevent them becoming bored during the drive.
- Emergency Kit, you never know when you’re going to need it! We recommend you buy one that includes a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and a torch.
Enjoy Summer with Autocare
If you have any questions regarding summer driving tips or need your vehicle fully serviced before you travel; call us now on 01291 627137.