While we all know the importance of winter car maintenance, you shouldn’t ignore looking after your car in the summer. Here’s what to take care of.
Seasoned drivers will know that car maintenance is a year-round job but, when we hit the warmer months, does it become less of a priority?
The cold, wet and dirty conditions of winter driving carry some obvious dangers with them but, while summer driving might be an all-around more pleasant experience for both you and your car, there are still some seasonally specific upkeep concerns with which to contend. With that in mind, we’ve put together a brief full of summer car maintenance tips to hopefully see you through the next few months without any problems.
First up on any summer car maintenance checklist should be checking your air conditioning. Anyone who’s driven without functioning AC in past summers will know just how vital a bit of cool air circulating through the car is to a pleasant driving experience on a hot day. If you turn on your AC and you’re not getting that, it’s probably time to treat your car to an AC recharge.
A typical car AC recharge consists of regassing the system – this is a relatively cheap process that’s recommended once every two years. If there’s a bigger problem, your garage will be able to diagnose it and offer a repair solution.
You should be checking your tyre pressures around once a month anyway but, after a long, hard slog traversing potentially damaging spring and winter roads, it’s extra important to ensure that your pressures are at the right level and balanced across all four tyres.
Recommended pressure levels for most passenger cars sit somewhere between 30-35 PSI – you can find out the specific number for your car via your owner’s handbook or checking online. Don’t forget to check your spare tyre while you’re there.
An oil change is an often-forgotten fundamental of car maintenance. These days, with lubricants as effective as they are, an oil change should be carried out once every 5,000-7,500 miles. It’ll likely cost you around £100 – costs can range from £25-£200 – but it’s one of the most effective ways to boost the longevity of your vehicle.
While changing the oil isn’t necessarily an essential part of a summer car-care package, it’s not a bad idea to check whether you’re coming up to needing one as you run through the rest of your summer car maintenance checklist.
If you’ve noticed diminished stopping performance when applying the brakes of late, or you’re hearing some unusual squealing or other murmurs coming from them when in use, it’s time to get your brakes looked at.
The cold exposure of winter driving can be hard on your brakes, so heading into summer is a good time to check for wear and tear. Given the importance of brake performance to your safety, there’s certainly no harm in getting things checked, even if you’re not sure.
Summertime driving presents a few unique problems in visibility terms. If you live on a leafy suburb street, for example, you’ll quickly find out about all the different kinds of dirt and debris that parking under a tree can leave on your windscreen. Similarly, the glare of the sun can make seeing through an unclean windscreen a real nightmare. Therefore, it’s essential that your wipers are up to the task of keeping things clean.
A simple solution is to regularly wipe clean your wipers of any muck that they may inadvertently spread across your windscreen while in use. If they’re making some laboured noises while wiping or they seem ineffective, replacing them is a cheap, easy and highly effective summer car-care job to carry out.
Summer weather can dehydrate your car as warm conditions can lead to low engine fluids through thinning or even evaporation. Over the summer, ensuring that your coolant levels are where they should be is particularly important to prevent your engine from overheating.
Topping up the coolant is a relatively easy job to do yourself but also one that you can get done at your local garage if you’re not feeling confident about a DIY approach.
A lot of owners rather enjoy cleaning their car in the summer. Whether or not you’re one of them, regularly washing and cleaning both the interior and exterior of your car should be an essential part of your summer car maintenance checklist.
Beyond the obvious aesthetic benefits, cleaning your vehicle interior will prevent any potentially nasty damage from heat-affected rubbish, while keeping clean the external bodywork will reduce the chances of any damage to your paintwork over the summer.
With the above in mind, another effective common-sense tip is to keep your car out of the sun and park in the shade where possible. This will shield your car from the potentially damaging effects of the sun, not to mention keep both you and your car cool for your next journey.
With comprehensive servicing and parts services available, you can get all your summer car care taken care of with Jardine Motors. Whether it’s time for your yearly service or an MOT – or you need something specific looking at – we offer manufacturer-approved services for all the brands on our roster and complete care packages no matter what car you’re driving.
To find out more, visit our Service & Parts section of the site or get in touch with us to get the help that you need.
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