Are you getting thirsty – your car could do with a drink too!
We all know that winter puts a strain on our vehicles but the hot summer months can be equally as demanding. The key to summer driving is keeping the engine cool. Think about carrying spare water and oil.
You can take some simple precautions to keep you safe in the summer and save money on fuel. Heat and long drives can be tough on vehicles. Cracked hoses, leaky radiators, under-inflated tyres and dirty filters can significantly lower your fuel efficiency, or worse, lead to a total breakdown.
Wipers – don’t forget those heavy summer showers. Winter ice and salt may have cracked or torn the rubber. If your wipers are leaving streaks or taking several wipes to clear the screen, they need replacing. It is better to replace the whole blade, not just the rubber. Glare from the sun will be made worse by a dirty windscreen. Keep your vehicle topped up with screen wash.
Air filter – this may have gotten clogged with salt and debris through the winter. It should be replaced every 12,000 miles, but if you’ve a long summer of driving ahead replace it anyway, they’re not expensive.
Hoses – check for cracks, leaks and loose connections. They should be firm, not soft and pliable.
Oil – keeps your engine parts running clean, smooth and cool. Engines are more likely to overheat in the summer when we do long, heavy driving. Check your oil level is between the maximum and the minimum on your dipstick before you set out. It should be a brownish yellow colour. If it’s dark or has dirt in it then you may need an oil change and possibly an oil filter replacement. Oil is the blood supply to your engine, so check your levels in order to avoid causing potentially irreparable damage. You should ideally be checking it once a week.
Tyres – pressure changes with rising temperatures. An under-inflated tyre bulges outwards and puts pressure on the sidewalls of the tyre which will blow with enough heat and pressure. Over-inflated tyres make less contact with the road and can lead to hydroplaning in wet conditions. Over-inflated or under-inflated tyres can be dangerous in hot summer weather. Punctures are the most common cause of summer breakdowns according to the AA.
Brakes – don’t put yourself at risk this summer by driving around with worn down or faulty brakes.
Cooling system – you should have your radiator flushed and new coolant added every 2 years. You don’t want to get hot under the bonnet! We recommend that you check that your coolant fluid level is between the maximum and minimum marks on the tank at least once a week and when the engine is cold. If the coolant level has dropped, make sure that you get it checked out at New Lane Motors because ordinarily coolant levels should remain at the same level between services. We can check your fan belt at the same time.
Air Con - Anyone who has been stuck in a traffic jam in a hot car during the summer will know how valuable air conditioning is. Air conditioning units can also help to reduce pollen levels in vehicles for hay fever sufferers. It is therefore important to make sure that your system is fully prepared. Let's face it, when it is 25 degrees and humid outside and you've been stuck in the car for hours with grumpy kids and slobbering pets, having working Air Con might just be the only thing that keeps you sane.
Battery – hot weather is just as tough on batteries as winter. Keep terminals clean and connections secure. Call in to New Lane Motors for a free battery check.
If your vehicle has been stood all winter check the fluid levels, battery and consider getting it cleaned underneath to remove the winter muck so that the heat can escape.
for a free tyre and battery check.
New Lane Motors, New Lane, Stanton Hill. SUTTON-IN-ASHFIELD. NG17 3GD, United Kingdom