Have you given your car a summer maintenance check?

Just about everybody is aware of winter related car problems such as flat batteries, frozen windscreen washer tanks and, if insufficient antifreeze has been used, the potential of highly damaging frozen radiators. But in many ways the summer can be almost as stressful to your car as the bleakest of winters, so if you want to keep your car happy and trouble free throughout the summer months it is advisable to carry out a summer maintenance check to make sure that all is operating to specification.

The major stress factors of summer motoring are higher temperatures, busy roads as families go on holiday, torrential rainfall and flooded roads that always seem to happen in the modern British summer, flying bugs and pollen, especially if you suffer from hay fever. Almost as many accidents happen in the summer as in the winter, so by keeping safe you can avoid having to make a car insurance claim. You should also see if your provider can offer you breakdown cover or deals on your breakdown cover.

Tyres

In the summer it is important to check that your tyres are in top condition. There are more punctures during the summer than they are in the winter and tyre problems are exacerbated by hot roads which can increase the rate of wear and expose any underlying damage. It is important to keep a check on tyre pressures, to examine the tread to ensure that there are no stones or other road debris embedded in it, and of course to make sure that you tyres comply with the law having at least 1.6 mm of tread across ¾ of the tyre, though 3.0 mm is better.

Coolant level

Don’t become one of those cars stranded on the side of the motorway with steam issuing from its engine. Hot weather can cause cars to overheat with potentially disastrous consequences. Keep an eye on the coolant level and treat any sudden drop with suspicion; it could indicate a leak in the cooling system so get it checked out.

Dirty windscreen

You turn a bend and are suddenly exposed to the glaring sun which is low and the sky and render’s your dirty windscreen almost opaque. It is an experience we have all encountered and can be a very unpleasant and frightening one too. Don’t turn a beautiful summer evening into a calamity; keep your windscreen washer topped up and use it frequently. All those summer insects can soon make a mess of a windscreen, so keep yours clean.

Air conditioning

If you are one of those people who only use their air conditioning in the hot weather then it is quite possible that when you turn it on for the first time in a while in the hot summer it has stopped working. If you don’t use it regularly the rubber seals can dry out and embrittle with the result that you lose your gas.

Check your air conditioning and get it re-gassed if necessary. It is much more pleasant and safer than driving in the heat and humidity of a typical British summer.

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