Your Summer Car Servicing Schedule
Every owner knows that their car needs servicing annually, or perhaps more frequently still for high-milers. Right now we are exiting what has seemed like the longest winter ever and are finally looking forward to Summer holidays or at least some days out and about.
Our cars have borne the brunt of winter weather so now might be the time for an interim check-up by your local car servicing garage to ensure the vehicle is ready for the coming hot, we hope, conditions. When the weather’s nice we tend to forget that our motors also need care and maintenance during Summer. High temperatures can take a toll on your car, so, to be sure, book into a garage offering summer car maintenance services. Here are a few items that need considering:
In Winter a car battery takes a lot of punishment from the cold. Starting, lights and heaters and all that technology we like to use all take their toll. It pays to get the battery checked to ensure it is securely fitted, that the terminals are clean and tight and, in the worse case scenario, it doesn’t need replacing. There’s nothing more galling than a car that won’t start when there’s a family to move about.
Keep Your Cool
Cooling systems on modern cars are sealed. Long gone are the days of fiddling with boiling radiator caps or thermostats. We tend to assume that coolant looks after itself but that is not always the case. Owners should check, when the engine is cold, that the level in the expansion tank is correct; if it’s not then there could be an issue and if there is you can be sure that hot weather will find it.
If it’s not possible to do it yourself, ask your local garage technician to inspect the drive belts and hoses to ensure there are no signs of cracking, soft spots, fraying or leaking or any damage caused by road detritus.
Although we use the air-con all year round, it is in Summer that we really are thankful for that cool flow of air. Opening a window doesn’t really fit the bill because the air outside is as warm as in the cabin. Air conditioning is great but, like most aspects of a car, it too needs servicing. To maintain maximum chill it is recommended that climate systems are re-gassed every couple of years. This also helps to ensure that the system is free of bacteria which can build up over time and harbour germs. Not wishing to be alarmist, a badly neglected system can affect occupants health.
This isn’t a DIY job; it requires specialist equipment and skilled knowledge. That said, it is rarely expensive and the whole family will feel the benefit. Why not add it to the annual servicing schedule every couple of years?
Check Those Brakes
In Winter, traffic tends to be more stop-start than summer traffic. That and freezing conditions are hard on the brakes. Take off the wheels and visually inspect the brake pads and discs or drums for substantial wear and cracking. This is a heavy task so to be on the safe side get a mechanic to check them and ensure your brakes are ready for the long summer drives. Have the tyre pressures and fluid levels checked while you are there; how many of us can honestly say that during the winter we religiously checked these important items every week? Thought so.
Clean The Car
Finally, your car has been through a lot. Give it a good wash, perhaps a polish to brighten the colour and remove any grit, and then a nice coat of wax to last throughout the warm weather to protect the paint from the sun. If funds permit, get it valeted; well, why not? Summer’s coming.