Driver Knowledge Tests

4 easy ways to prepare your car for summer

As summer approaches, it becomes time to prepare your four-wheeled member of the family for the upcoming heatwaves, hot traffic jams, and potential road trips. We’ve put together a list of four easy ways you can get your car in tip-top shape for summer.

Check your fluids 

One of the worst things you can deal with as a driver is an overheating car. Once the temperature needle goes deep into the red, you only have a few moments to save your engine from a rather expensive rebuild. In order to avoid this ordeal, we suggest that you check all the fluids in your car starting with the coolant. 

If coolant levels are low, make sure to add distilled water or a premade coolant mix. Just keep in mind that different engines require different types of coolant. Using the wrong one can damage your engine’s internal components. 

Check your tyres

Tyres are essential for both your safety and the handling capabilities of your car. All-season tyres are the most cost-effective, but if you live in regions that experience snow or torrential rain, you might have a dedicated winter and summer set. 

With summer fast approaching, you’ll be able to find awesome deals on summer tires, and you should use them. Find a tyre that is made by one of the well-known manufacturers, but also one that fits your budget. For areas that experience regular tropical storms, then ensuring your tyre tread doesn’t go below 3mm is important as the water dispersal performance drops off exponentially from there. 

Check the tyre pressures; when the weather is cold, the tyre pressures will be lower and you may need to drop the pressures slightly as the temperature warms up.

Service your air conditioning 

There’s nothing that can make you feel more miserable than a glowing hot car with broken air conditioning. Your AC system should be serviced if you notice that it is no longer cooling the car’s interior quickly.

Make sure that there is enough refrigerant in the system and that your cabin’s air filter is clean. Lack of refrigerant could force your compressor to work overtime, leading to its premature failure. Also, it’s highly recommended that you run your AC on cold a few times during the winter. That way your compressor will see some use all throughout the year. 

Keep your car protected from the sun 

UV rays are highly damaging to car interiors as well as car paint. Just like you need sun cream if you plan on staying out in the sun for long, your car also needs UV protection. Use wax or a synthetic sealant on your paint to keep it shielded from solar radiation. On the inside, clean and protect your dashboard and any exposed area using dedicated products. Lastly, try to park your car in the shade and use windshield sunshades. 

A little effort goes a long way 

Most of the things listed above require very little effort but will give your car a greater chance of making it through summer without a single bump. Just like you should prepare your car for summer, you should also prepare it for winter.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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