Whilst most of us look forward to warmer, longer days, it can be tough for your vehicle to deal with the increased humidity and the traffic jams as people flock to the beaches near us. Your battery, cooling system, tyres and air conditioning are all under increased pressure and can be damaged before you notice the problem. Follow the advice below to ensure that your car, van or motorhome can enjoy the Summer with you, rather than with us!
Excessive heat and overcharging shorten the life of your car’s battery. Also bear in mind that cold weather hurts our batteries too, and although your vehicle’s power source may have survived a less than friendly winter, it could well be damaged as a result. To help yourself, keep the top of the battery clean (dirt can itself become a conductor and drain battery power, or corrosion acts as an insulator stopping the flow of the current). Then if you’re noticing any starting problems call into us at Collison’s for a free battery charging check and report, just to know how healthy your battery really is.
According to the AA “Six million motorists around the UK are risking a repair bill of over £1,000 by failing to regularly check that their engine coolant is at a recommended level”. The cooling system works much harder during hot temperatures to stop your engine overheating, and so changing it at least annually with the right product or mix for your vehicle is the only way to keep it working effectively. Just remember NEVER to open the radiator cap when your engine is hot as the steam and spray can badly burn you, and you can do damage to your engine too. A coolant check and change is a simple job for us to do for you here so if you aren’t sure or would like the reassurance of the correct product then please come in to us at Collison’s. We will also check the thermostat and cooling fan, and look for cracks, bulges, frayed edges, leaks or corrosion which would indicate damage in the system. If you do notice signs of overheating in heavy traffic, put your heater on full to draw out the heat and use your air conditioning or good old fashioned windows to keep your cool until you’re moving again. If this doesn’t reverse the trend then please pull over and turn off your engine. Don’t join the 6,000,000 with engine repair bills.
Tyres also need attention in warmer weather as a rise in temperature adds to the stress they are under. Maximise your tyres’ use and life span by checking their tread, condition and inflation at least every month. As heat causes the pressure to increase, for accuracy only check your tyre pressures when the tyres are cool. Your owner’s manual will give the recommended air pressure for your tyres, which again will need to be adjusted if you’re heading on holiday with a highly loaded car, rather than just getting yourself to work.
Although they seem unlikely, keeping your wipers and screen wash at their optimum is as significant in the Summer as in the Winter. Sun glare is at its peak and exacerbates smears in our line of vision. Also any dust build up requires strong flat blades so that you don’t end up with rainbows of invisibility every time you wipe. Worse still is when rain falls on a dusty screen turning the dust to sludge which is very hard to shift. Look at our Duxback page to see how this cheap, simple treatment can clear your screen and keep it clear.
Finally, the air conditioning in your car is likely to be on constantly if the sun’s out, so bring us your vehicle early in the season to keep it operating as reliably as you need it too. To help yourself as much as possible, do leave the air conditioning on all the time (even in those winter days we’ve all forgotten happen), and run it on its coldest, fullest setting every week just to prevent the build-up of too much bacteria in the seals and system. If it isn’t as effective as you remember it being, we can regas or repair as required, but it can be as simple as replacing the pollen filter.
Several of these checks are ones we can do quickly and while you wait at any time. All of them need to be done through the Summer months so please don’t put them off and do ask if you would like us to help you. Regardless, have a fantastic Summer, and safe motoring wherever you head out to.