How to prepare your car for the summer
Many car owners are of the opinion that the cold winter months pose a bigger risk to a vehicle than the hot summer months. In actual fact they’re both as challenging to deal with. So, preparing your car for the summer months is of vital importance. By following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to keep your car running efficiently.
Before you head on holiday or a long car journey is a great reminder to give your vehicle a summer check. In fact, if you tie in a summer check with your annual MOT, you can make sure your car is in tip-top condition for the summer.
Key aspects of your summer vehicle check
- Tyres – check the condition of your tyres. Look for wear and tear, check the pressure. Don’t forget to inspect the spare too.
- Windscreen washer- check that it is topped up.
- Oil and coolant – make sure they are at the right levels according to your owner’s handbook.
- Lights – check that they’re all working, both interior and exterior. You may need a friend to help you with some.
- Windscreen wipers – inspect them for wear and tear or splitting.
These are all quick checks that you can perform yourself to cover all the basics and should regularly be undertaken as standard.
Visiting a garage for a summer check-up
You may consider getting a garage to cast their eyes over your vehicle too. A garage is likely to check your brakes and brake pads, to ensure there is no significant wear or cracking. Your brakes should be reviewed twice a year as standard, so a summer and winter check is ideal.
A garage will also check your fan belt and cooling system. In summer, a well-functioning cooling system is imperative, as one that is malfunctioning could cause overheating and extensive damage to your engine. Damage to the engine leads to an incredibly expensive repair.
Performing these checks will hopefully prevent breakdowns. It’s always best to be pro-active. So if you’re planning a long journey or the weather is extremely hot, these checks could help to make your summer plans run smoothly.
Increased breakdowns in hot weather
The RAC state that they receive a 20% increase in call-outs during hot weather. In coastal areas, the increase in call-outs experienced is 30%. This shows the effect that hot, summer weather can have on your car.
In 2016 the most common reasons for breakdowns were:
- Battery problems
- Tyre issues
- People getting a puncture and not having a spare
- Clutch problems
- Difficulties with the alternator.
Having a qualified mechanic to review your car in summer will help to prevent your car suffering an unwelcome and unexpected breakdown.
Five tips to avoid summer breakdowns
- 1. Battery problems are caused by a lot of stop-start Keep it to a minimum. If your battery is old, consider replacing it.
- 2. Visually checking for tyre issues will help prevent them causing a problem after a long journey for example. Check the pressure and make sure you have a spare that is in good condition too.
- 3. Clutch problems can arise through towing a caravan for example or driving in new, unfamiliar areas. Check that your vehicle has the capacity to tow a caravan before doing so.
- 4. Alternator issues generally arise due to battery problems. Usually through a mixture of hot weather and plugging in devices such as smartphones.
- 5. Whether you are travelling a short or long distance, it’s always important to check the basics. It could save you time and money in the long run.
Book your summer vehicle check today
If you need a reminder to complete your summer vehicle check, then why not schedule it with your annual MOT? With Bromley Vehicle Test Centre you can book your MOT online in minutes by clicking here.