Preparing your car for summer.
Regular vehicle maintenance is essential to keep it running in good health. In the long run this will help you avoid any costly damages as a result of neglect. Here are a few simple steps you can take to better prepare your car for the summer season, simple measures you can take to keep you happily motoring along rather than winding up roadside calling the AA.
Check your tyres regularly
If you want to improve your fuel economy and ensure your vehicle performs optimally in any emergency manoeuvres it’s imperative you keep tyres inflated to the correct pressure. When keeping your tyres, which you should do at least twice a month, it’s a good idea to check your pressure too. If you notice excessive wear and tear it’s best to take your car to a local garage to get a professional opinion.
Check cooling & air conditioning systems
By far the most road side breakdowns occur from coolant problems or engines overheating. The most common cause is as a result of poor air flow around the radiator. Before the summer months start its wise to clean out any leaves or debris that has accumulated in the fins of the radiator and the air conditioning condenser. Checking your radiator cap at the beginning of summer is also advised. This is because due to it’s exposure to high temperatures the rubber gasket can crack, become deformed, damaged or simply harden. The caps metal spring will also weaken over time.
On vehicles that utilise green antifreeze servicing should be carried out every two years. However most modern vehicles now use orange coolant which requires servicing approximately every five years. changing your coolant on schedule will ensure its anti corrosion and thermal capabilities remain optimal.
Change oil on schedule
Engine oil changes will be recommended by your vehicle manufacturer and it’s a good idea to stick to this schedule. Between changes be sure to check your oil level on a monthly basis and add fresh oil when necessary.
Check the gas cap
However inconspicuous you may think the gas cap is, it is in fact a critical component of the cars emission control system. If the cap isn’t air tight you will more than likely see engine or emission services lights appear on the dashboard. Check your gas cap every time you fill up ensuring it has no visible cracks or noticeable damage. If you notice anything, replace it.
Lighting and visibility
Headlights are essential when driving in low light. Make sure you check them and that there are no hidden wire problems. Check your battery terminals for corrosion. Many electrical system problems occur due to poorly maintained batteries. Keeping the connections clean and tight will help you avoid this. Be sure windows are clean and mark free and replace any worn wipers. Check that your washer fluid levels adequate also so you can clean your windows on the go.
Use the right tools or mechanic
Many people prefer to service their vehicle themselves on a regular basis and have a full service carried out by a mechanic according to the manufactures recommendations. To self service your vehicle you will require a number of hand held tools.