With summer upon us and the weather hotting up, it’s important to check your car is in good working order.
Prolonged periods of heat can affect many parts of a vehicle and cause problems you may not be aware of. Here at Windmill Motors, we want to ensure you enjoy a safe driving experience no matter where your journey takes you.
We’ve shared our top summer car care tips so that your car is in the best working order it can be during the warm summer months…
Check Your Battery
Did you know that battery failure is the most common cause of a car breakdown? Although us Brits love the sunshine, our cars are not so fond of the heat. High temperatures can in fact shorten the life of your car battery, which can catch you out on even the shortest of journeys.
Your car may show signs of battery wear and tear, such as dashboard lights flickering, dimmer headlights, or a slower engine start. If this happens, you must get your battery replaced by an expert as soon as possible.
Pay Attention to Tyres
Your car’s tyres aren’t a fan of the hot weather either. Heat can cause increased pressure in the tyres which puts them at bigger risk of a puncture, or even worse, a blow out. This could be very dangerous for you and your passengers at high speeds.
Make sure to check your tyres at regular intervals throughout the summer to avoid problems. During the warmer months, the recommended tyre pressure is 35 PSI (pound per square inch). You should keep your tyre pressure as close to the manufacturer's recommended PSI as possible, but in the summer weather, it is better that tyres are slightly underinflated, rather than over inflated.
Let’s not forget the tread depth of your tyres either. If the tread is under the legal requirement, you could be at risk of skidding and losing control of the vehicle. By law, tyre tread depth in the UK is set at the minimum requirement of 1.6mm across the central part of the tyre.
Ensure Fluids are Topped Up
It’s easy to forget about your car’s washer fluid, coolant levels and oil changes, but ignoring these can cause real problems. We’d recommend checking the levels of fluid for all working parts of your car at least once a month. In the hot weather, fluid levels can easily become depleted, so may need to be topped up more regularly than you would during the colder months.
Maintain the Air Conditioning
There’s nothing worse than feeling hot and sweaty whilst driving, which is why it’s important to ensure your car’s air conditioning unit is in good working order ready for the summer months.
Over time, the rate at which your car’s air conditioning unit can perform gradually weakens. This means that over the course of a few years, it won’t be able to generate the levels of cold air you may require in the summer.
As best practice, you should have your car’s air conditioning recharged every two years. This process is called re-gassing and will ensure it performs at its very best, even on the hottest driving days.
Make Sure Wipers are in Working Order
It’s easy to take your car’s windscreen wipers for granted and most drivers tend to not pay too much attention to their condition. Whilst we may use the windscreen wipers more during the winter months when it’s wet and raining, we often rely on them during the summer too.
Periods of prolonged dry spells can cause more dust and debris on the road, so you may end up using the windscreen wipers more than you think! Consider all the bugs and insects that appear during long summer days too - many unfortunately will end up on your windscreen.
As a general rule of thumb, your windscreen wipers should be replaced every one to two years to ensure they perform at their best and do not leave smear marks.
Stock up on Supplies
Drivers often travel with a spare ice scraper and window cloth in the winter, but have you considered the items worth stocking up on during the summer? From spare bottles of water to some handy snacks, sunglasses, a torch and a warning triangle, these are just some of the basic items which are handy to have in your car should you break down or become stuck in heavy traffic.
Book in for a Summer Service
Let’s not forget the all-important summer service. If you think car servicing is just for winter, then you’d be wrong! Unless you’re a dab hand in terms of car maintenance, it’s highly recommended you book your car in for a summer service to ensure its roadworthy and performing at its best.
Booking your car in for a summer service (also known as a health check) will enable trained technicians to check the vital components of your vehicle, as well as topping up all the necessary fluids.
At our dealership in Bourne, Lincolnshire, we can help. As well as selling high quality used cars, we also specialise in offering servicing and MOTs to customers at great value, everyday prices. We pride ourselves on providing excellent service, and our trained and highly experienced mechanics are equipped to deal with all makes and models of car.
If you’re looking to book your car in for a summer service, then head to the MOT & Service page on our website to fill out the enquiry form, or give us a call on 01778 440777 and we’ll be happy to help.