If you’ve been keeping up with our blog for a few months now, you may have noticed we like to keep all our customers informed about every piece of seasonal automobile information that crops up as the year goes on – over the Christmas season we gave you our Winter Car Care Guide, and now as the seasons have shifted on we think it’s time for something a little bit more relevant!
We tend to think of the summertime as being a care-free sort of season. A time to really enjoy the driving experience and take the motor out on the open road. Picnics, road trips, romantic drives across the country – however, things are not as safe as they seem. In fact, the summer months can really be quite taxing on many vehicles. Due to the shifting of temperatures overall from the chilly winter and early spring seasons, many aspects of our vehicles change, and not always for the better.
This month we’re going to walk you through all the of the changes your vehicle might be experiencing as the heat gets turned up, and what you can do to make sure things stay running smoothly!
The pressure is on
First things first, we’ve got to talk about one of the most overlooked parts of our vehicles – we mean, without them we wouldn’t have anything more than a heavy bit of stationary machinery, of course, it’s the wheels.
We usually don’t tend to think about our wheels until we get a dreaded tyre pressure warning, or worse, the awful feeling of a flat – however, did you know that your car’s tyres are affected by the heat much more than any other part of your vehicle? According to Rubber Manufacturers Association, your tyre increases by 1 – 2 PSI per 12-degree increase and with the heat we’ve been experiencing this year so far, that can have a big impact.
Seemingly counterintuitive, an under-inflated tyre is more likely to blow, as the bulging caused by the expanding tyre will force unnecessary strain on the side walls. Over-inflation reduces contact with the road, meaning hydroplaning is more likely and general manoeuvrability will be affected.
Check your car or tyres owner’s manual or information for the recommended tyre pressure of your vehicle, and remember to keep that spare around, just in case!
Time for a charge?
Another overlooked part of our vehicles, and yet the most common cause for break down, is the one that almost certainly stops working when you least expect it – the battery. We’ve all been there, especially in the winter, those early morning jumpstarts in the cold hours of the dawn – but did you know that the summer really takes a toll on our batteries?
That’s right – if you know how batteries work then it makes a little bit more sense, but effectively inside the battery there is a chemical reaction, the by-product of which produces a current which outputs power to your vehicle. The main problem with batteries and heat is that heat is really good at speeding up chemical reactions.
Make sure the contacts of your battery are not corroded, as the heat can really have an adverse effect on that reaction too. If your car has a ‘wet cell’ battery, make sure that your electrolyte refill cap is screwed on properly as the heat will cause your battery’s fluid to evaporate!
Watch your fluids
While this is really an all-year-round kind of quick tip – it’s always important to remember to check your car’s fluids!
Your coolant and engine oil should be checked ideally once a week, and really for such a quick and easy job, it can significantly increase the lifespan of your vehicle.
Brake, clutch and power steering fluids can be checked a little less regularly, approximately once a month, however, like most things in this list, if the weather is particularly hot, while unlikely to massively impact your car, it’s always good to keep on eye on the liquids in your vehicle.
Don’t get conned by air-con
This one is a biggie, and while it is not essential to the running of your vehicle, it’s certainly essential for the running of you!
We’ve been working and enjoying our vehicles for a long time, and if you ask us, we really can’t think of a feeling worse than sitting in our cars at the height of summer without the air-con running. The experience is made even more hellish when you are bumper to bumper in traffic, and the windows don’t make a lick of difference!
Unfortunately, air-conditioning systems are rather finicky, and by finicky we mean incredibly complicated. Leaks can occur in many different locations, and if you are driving around in an older vehicle, there may be chemicals (like Freon) inside your systems that only a licenced professional should be dealing with, for your and your car’s safety
We hope this helps
And speaking of professionalism, have you considered getting your car all ready for the summer driving season? At EASR, all of our automotive experts approach car bodywork with the care and professionalism you would not find anywhere else! From diamond-cut alloys to re-sprays and paint repairs and paintless dent removal, we have you covered.
And as always,