Checking your car in the summer

July 8th, 2013 in

Summer Car Checks.

So summer has arrived….well it is apparently here for the next two weeks. However, because our English summers are so temperamental we need to be extra prepared and make sure our cars are in perfect condition for every type of weather. 

So what do we need to do to look after our cars during the summer?

Check your engine coolant level:

Every motorist in the UK is risking a large repair bill if they fail to regularly check that their engine coolant is at the right level. It is so important to check your engine coolant if you want to prevent your car from overheating during the summer. The coolant level needs to be in the middle of maximum and minimum marks, you should try and check this once a week to make sure it hasn’t dropped. It is best to check the levels when the engine is cold, if the coolant level has dropped, you need to take it to your local garage to check there aren’t any leaks. Coolant levels should stay at the same level in between services. 

Check your oil Level:

You should be checking your oil level at least once a month to make sure that it is at the right level. Your car oil level should be between the minimum and maximum levels on the dipstick, if you can’t see the min/max sign on your dipstick then check your manual. Mine has cross hatches instead of a maximum/minimum mark.

If you have cross hatching on your dipstick, make sure the oil level mark is within the cross hatch section of the dipstick. If it is over the marks, you need to drain some oil out; if it is at or below the marks, you need to add oil.

Check your tyres:

It is important to monitor your tyre pressures, checking them every couple of weeks during the summer. According to the AA, high temperatures can often aggravate tyres and cause punctures.

The correct tyre pressure for your tyres can be found in your handbook or sometimes on the side of your car door. You also need to check your tyre tread depth, by law, your tread depth needs to be at least 1.6mm.

Tyre treads are used to diffuse water which may be lying on the surface of roads, the bigger your treads are, the more water can be broken up and your car is less likely to lose control because you will have more grip. If you tyre tread depth is less than the legal limit, you risk being fined.  

Windscreen wash:

It is important to make sure that you windscreen wash is full. This may not seem like an important thing to check, however, glare from the sun can be made much worse by a dirty windscreen and this can cause accidents.

Check your car battery:

Your car battery will have gone through a lot during the winter months so it is always best to take your car to your local garage to check your battery is in full working order. Many garages will actually this for free and it means you can avoid an unexpected breakdown. If you are going to be doing long drives during the summer months, it would be a good idea to get your garage to check your brake pads, discs and also brake fluid as well.