What To Look For In Your Summer Car Health Check
Summer Car Health Checks
As it’s coming up to summer, its a good idea give your car a summer health check. To help, we have listed the essential checks that you should include when checking your car.
Like most people, keeping up with the maintenance of your car isn’t easy, especially if you have a lot going on in your personal life or you just have no clue what to check for. However, you will know that it’s coming up to that time where you need to do your summer car health check. Below you will find a list of all the things you will need to check for you to have a healthy car in the summer.
Engine Coolant Levels
Do you check that your engine coolant levels are at a recommended level on a regular basis? Well according to the AA, six million people are at risk of a repair bill of £1,000 or more because they aren’t checking this. This is one of the vital parts on your summer car health check if you are wanting to prevent overheating.
When the engine is cold, it is recommended that you check that your coolant fluid level is between the maximum and minimum marks on the tank. Ordinarily coolant levels should remain at the same level between services. However if they do drop, make sure that you take your car to your local garage so it can get checked out.
When the engine starts to over heat the cooling fan will automatically turn on. This will draw in cool air through the radiator to cool the engine down. Nevertheless, significant damage can accrue if the fan seizes, causing the engine coolant to start to boil.
There is just the one way to check the health of your cooling fan and that’s by turning your heater to cold and run the car to normal temperatures (the middle of your temperature gauge). Once the car has reached the normal temperature, find somewhere to park but keep the engine running. Do not use your car for five minutes. After this amount of time, the fan should of automatically kicked in.
If the fan doesn’t automatically kick in and your engine temperature starts to spiral upwards then there is a problem. At this point you should turn off your engine and contact your breakdown cover team or a local mechanic.
Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are ensuring that you have the correct engine coolant level and fully functional engine cooling fan; sometimes the heat is too strong for your vehicle, especially if your in holiday traffic jams.
If you turn your heater onto full and activate your air conditioning, the problem should go away.
During the summer there is a lot of road maintenance happening which can cause loose debris such as stone and tar, to be scattered around newly surfaced roads. This kind of material can cause damage to your car’s bodywork.
To avoid the damage we recommend not driving too close to over drivers to stop debris flicking up and to also stick to the speed limit when driving through road work zones.
According to the AA, the most common cause of summer breakdowns are punctures; with high temperatures often aggravating damage which may already be present. Therefor, you should check your tyre pressure every week to ensure that it meets the standards of the manufacturers stated guidelines which can be found in your vehicle handbook. Signs of a slow puncture would be if your tyre pressure is dropping surprisingly quickly in one tyre.
Having a tyre tread depth which is at least 1.6mm, the minimum which is required by law, is vital as you’ve probably noticed that just because it’s summer, it doesn’t mean there won’t be any rain in the UK. It is important that you check this as it’s the tyre tread which disperses water that it laying on the road so that you can have better control of your car. The bigger the tread, the more controlled your vehicle will be.
Through the winter, your battery goes through a lot and it is very possible that some damage has accrued during this season. You can recognise a damaged battery if your car is struggling to start.
You should make sure that you have a fully working battery by taking a battery test which will be done for free in many garages. This is the easiest and simplest way of avoiding a surprised and inconvenient breakdown.
Dirty windscreens increase the likelihood of motorists being involved in a accident yet glare from the sun makes this likelihood even higher because of poor visibility. We recommend carrying in your car, a bottle of windscreen wash so this procedure can be done whilst out on the road.
However, the windscreen wash only works if your wiper blades are in good condition but if they are worn out, then they will only just irritate the problem. Make sure that replacement wipers are sourced when ever required.
You don’t really appreciate the importance of air conditioning until you have been stuck in a row of traffic of a burning hot day. As well as cooling you down, the air conditioning units can also help to reduce pollen levels in vehicals for those who suffer from hay fever. Therefor, it’s important to make sure that your air conditioning is fully prepared for the months to come.
It is estimated that 15% of the refrigerant gas will be lost annually and you should therefore ideally have your air conditioning unit serviced either every 30,000 miles or every two years so as to avoid costly repairs. Nevertheless, using your air conditioning all the time will increase fuel combustion.
This feature of your car is designed to keep dirt and debris from entering your car. As you can then imagine, it has the tendency to get clogged up, particularly in the summer due to the reasons you read above under Bodywork.
By changing your Air filter every year, it aids the air flow coming onto your engine. This should be done during your annual service.
Many people decide to pack their cars and drive to a holiday destination during the summer which usually includes a long distance journey. Meaning that it’s very important to test your breaks before you go.
But don’t worry, come to a local garage like ours and tell us to check your brake pads, discs and also your brake fluid levels so ensure maximum peace of mind before you set off to your destination.
The oil is like the blood of the car which flows through your engine, so make sure that your oil levels are between the maximum and minimum on your dipstick in order to avoid causing potentially irreparable damage. It’s recommended that you check this once a week.
If you require anymore information on your Summer Car Health Check then don’t hesitate to contact us.