Summer Car Checks
As it comes to the end of the summer your car has probably been through a lot. We have had very high temperatures for an English summer so I’m sure there have been plenty of weekend trips away.
Your car tyres will be under the most stress during this time, so if they are slightly damaged or are at the incorrect pressure, you will have a much higher likelihood of them bursting. Replace any tyres that are cracking or have very shallow tread grooves. According to the AA, punctures are the most common breakdown problem during the summer months; they recommend checking your tyres weekly and pumping them up to the recommended pressure in your vehicle handbook.
Coolant (or antifreeze) is a fluid found in your radiator, which helps to keep your engine cool. Most cars use a mix of 50/50 water and coolant, but to be certain always check your owner's manual. The summer heat can actually affect the cooling system causing overheating in traffic or long drives. Over 6 million drivers in the UK alone risk a bill of over £1000 just for not checking and maintaining their cooling system.
A majority of road maintenance occurs during the summer when tar has not had the time to dry before being attacked by the rain season. Driving quickly on fresh tar or road chipping can crack headlamps, and debris can even flick up and damage windscreens or scratch paint work. Stick to the recommended speed limit and drive a reasonable distance behind other drivers to save damage from other vehicles throwing small stones.
Annually, approximately 15% of your cars refrigerant will be lost so it is recommended to have the air-conditioning serviced every 30,000 miles. Especially, after a long summer of using the AC the system may just need some small repairs to prevent major costly problems later on. It is worth remembering however, that using your air-conditioning also decreases your cars gas mileage.
So overall what should you be looking out for?
• Cracked hoses
• Leaking radiators
• Low tyres
• Dirty filters
All of the above can decrease the efficiency of your vehicle and can eventually cause a costly breakdown if not fixed ahead of total destruction.