A simple list to help get your car summer ready
Always check battery, oil, fluid and tyres
Summer is nearly here and with it comes the braai, bronzed bodies and hot summer days.
This means more road trips - to your favourite picnic spot, the winelands or a lazy summer getaway. It also means you need to make sure your car is up for the challenge it faces.
What should you do to get your car summerready?
Start by shedding the extra weight we all pick up during the long, cold winter, advises Wesley Procter, general manager at car retailer getWorth.
By weight, he is referring to clutter. “Get rid of anything that doesn’t need to be in your car, especially old receipts, take-away containers, empty coffee cups and anything that may have fallen between the seats,” he says.
Procter also shares a few other tips that will enable you to take full advantage of those summer trips you are planning.
Make sure you don’t get an unexpected surprise on the road this summer:
CHECK THE BATTERY
Check the date on your battery. If it is more than three years old, get it tested. The heat can be as damaging to a battery as extremely cold temperatures.
CHECK THE OIL
Most new cars will not be affected, but if you are driving an older car with significant mileage on the clock, you might want to check whether your car will require a heavier or thicker oil due to higher temperatures requiring a higher oil weight or viscosity.
CHECK YOUR FLUID
Many of the fluids in a car prevent overheating. Ask a mechanic to test the radiator’s antifreeze to check if it needs replacing.
Also have the hoses checked for any leaks. The coolant levels you can check yourself – just look at the level of the see-through overflow bottle. At the same time, top up the window washer liquid and check that wiper blades aren’t worn.
CHECK THOSE TYRES
The heat can be as damaging to tyres as the cold. Check for any wear and tear, snags or nails and ensure the tyre tread complies with the legal minimum tread depth. Driving tyres that are under-inflated increases the chance of a blowout, especially when temperatures are high. Check the tyre pressure at least once a month and remember to check them while they are cold.
KEEP IT COOL
Procter points out that there are a few things you shouldn’t keep in your car during summer. “These can include certain medicines which lose their efficacy if exposed to heat,” he says.
He adds that if you’re a cyclist or have a pram with pneumatic tyres, to take care to keep them cool in a hot car. High temperatures can cause the air inside the tyre to expand, which can result in a blowout. High heat can also cause the rubber to weaken, causing a flat tyre.