Changing seasons can take a toll on the condition of any vehicle. It’s obvious that a harsh winter can damage to body work and mechanical parts, but summer has its pitfalls too.
The following easy and inexpensive tips will help get your vehicle in perfect condition to cope with the heat and humidity from upcoming summer months:
Overheating is still the biggest cause of auto breakdowns. It stands to reason that this will be more of a problem during summer time. Reduce the risk by giving the cooling system in your vehicle a comprehensive checkup.
Ensure that cooling liquid levels are kept sufficiently high. You can easily eyeball the fan belt and other mechanical parts for wear and tear. Also, check the seal on the radiator cap—freezing temperatures in winter followed by the engine’s heat can cause cracking. Replacing a worn cap will be much less expensive than dealing with the results of a high temperature, high-pressure failure.
Summer's dry dusty weather can lead to a build-up of dirt on your vehicle’s windshield, which is a safety hazard and can damage both windshield and wipers. Make sure wiper blades are securely fitted and not too worn. Replace them if necessary. Don’t forget to make sure that there is plenty of washer fluid in the reservoir. If you need help, come see us at the dealership.
As you know, a working air conditioning system is not a luxury during hot weather. You certainly don't want to find out there's a problem when you’re stuck in traffic during the height of summer. Take your vehicle in to be serviced in order to make sure there is enough refrigerant in the system, that the unit blows cool air without any problems, that it doesn’t make strange sounds, and that all hoses and piping are in good condition.
Tire condition and pressure
If you own two sets of tires—one set dedicated to winter and another for summer—switching them over provides a perfect opportunity to check their condition. Excessive wearing or bald spots spell trouble. The correct tire pressure—located on the tire wall—is an important safety check. Correct inflation will keep tires in good condition across baking hot roads during summer. It’s also a good idea to have the tires rotated to ensure even wear. One rule of thumb is to have it done at the same time as an oil change—3,000 miles or three months is a good benchmark.
Thorough wash and clean
Lastly, although this might seem like an obvious tip, giving your vehicle a thorough wash before summer can avoid many problems. Over winter, salt and grit can build up in the wheel arches and even in the engine bay, which raises the risk of rust setting in.
Treat your car to a high-pressure hosing underneath too, to remove all traces of dirt and debris, paying particular attention to hidden areas where harmful grime can build up unnoticed.
Whatever the weather, and type of warranty that you have, pay attention to the small and inexpensive car maintenance jobs—you can carry out many of the tasks yourself. This will keep your vehicle in the best possible condition, and reduce service garage bills by keeping on top of small problems before they escalate out of control.