Preparing your Car for Summer
Preparing your car for summer is much the same as getting it ready for winter. Basic checks when the weather starts to warm up and the days lengthen can cut the costs of expensive repair bills should any problems arise.
To help you save money and make the most of the (hopefully) warmer summer months, we’ve created a list of our top tips on preparing your car for summer.
Get your car cleaned
Through the winter months, your car is going to suffer. The combination of salt, grit and mud on the roads will start to accumulate and damage your car, both inside and out.
As soon as the weather allows, give your car a deep clean. From the wheels to the engine, make sure that all salt, sand and debris has been washed clean away. This helps to preserve not just the paintwork, but the internal engine parts as well. If all the dirt has been cleaned away, then it will be easier to check for leaks or damage to individual components.
Don’t forget about the inside of your car too. Clear away all of the rubbish from the boot and the foot wells; give everything a good vacuum, making sure you get rid of all the impacted mud, sand and grit from carpets.
Check your oil
Make sure that you check the oil levels in your car every few weeks, especially before a long journey. Advances in modern technology mean that most car oils protect against corrosion, sludge forming and small particles joining together.
To check your oil, make sure that your car is parked on a level service before starting. Take out the dipstick, wipe clean with a clean cloth and insert back into the oil well. Take the dipstick out again, and take note of both the colour and the level.
If it’s a deep, amber colour and is near the top line, then you don’t have to worry about topping it up just yet. If it’s still amber but the level is low, then add more oil. If it’s black and looks lumpy, then get the oil changed as soon as possible. Regular checks can help towards the overall engine health of your car, and reduce expensive repair bills in the long run.
Check you tyres
If your tyres are at the wrong pressure and then the temperature drastically rises whilst you’re driving, then they’re at risk of a blowout. If your car comes with a recommended tyre pressure chart, then this should tell you what the optimum levels for your car should be.
You should check the tread of the tyres as well, both for sharp objects and the remaining tread. If you find any sharp objects lodged in the tyre, then be careful when removing them, you don’t want to make the problem worse before you get the tyre changed.
The roads are becoming busier and busier, and with the rise in people staying in the UK for the summer holidays, narrow country roads can be particularly dangerous if your car isn’t prepared for summer.
Check your brakes
Everyone knows how traffic changes during bad weather; everyone brakes a lot more when the roads are covered in ice or surface water. To prepare your car for summer, you need to ensure that the brakes of the car haven’t become so worn that they might fail in an emergency.
Clean away all of the compacted salt, sand and general debris and make sure there doesn’t seem to be any visible damage. If you notice a change in your brakes, including sticking, strange noises or longer stopping distances, then get them checked as soon as possible.
For more advice on how to drive safely during the summer months, then take a look at our “Summer Driving Advice” feature. What do you think? Have we missed anything out? If you’ve got your own experiences to share we’d love to hear from you, Like us on Facebook or get in touch here.