Life races by quickly, so it’s easy to forget important maintenance on your car when the sun is shining and driving conditions seem perfect. Our quick guide covers off all the things you should be doing when summertime rolls around.
1. Check your oil
Engine oil keeps your engine lubricated, reducing friction that causes heat. When the mercury skyrockets, you’ll want as much lubricant as possible – so check the levels, keep it topped up, and remember to get an oil change whenever your car’s handbook says to.
2. Top up your screenwash
Dry, dusty roads kick up plenty of gunk on your windscreen – not to mention whatever any passing birds have ‘left behind’. Make sure your screenwash reservoir is brimming, with the correct wash-to-water ratio for the season. The bottle should give you a guide.
3. Replace windscreen wipers
The changing air temperature can cause wipers to split, especially if they’ve been put to particularly heavy use over the winter months. Replacing them is easy and cheap.
4. Check the lights
With the long, hazy days of summer you might never need to use your lights – and that’s exactly why you should check they’re working. That way, you’re reassured they’re working if you have to make a late-night journey or suddenly find yourself in unseasonable weather.
5. Check tyre air pressures
A quick physics lesson: outside air temperatures alter the pressurised air in your car’s tyres. As temperatures rise, so does the air pressure in your tyres – and vice versa. So if it’s a scorcher, make sure your tyres aren’t overinflated; this can reduce grip levels and cause irregular tyre wear, meaning they need replacing sooner.
6. Monitor coolant levels
As with any liquid, engine coolant can evaporate when it reaches extremes of temperature. So make sure all the appropriate reservoirs are topped up to their correct levels, to help you car keep cool when it needs to.
7. Test the air con
Hot, stuffy days behind the wheel are no picnic – and can lead your temper to boil over. Your AC system relies on a particular type of gas to chill the air, and this can leak away over time. Get a refill if you’ve noticed it’s not working as effectively as it ought to.
8. Listen for the cooling fan
The fan is part of the cooling system, and is your engine’s way of coping with the rigours of hot weather. Start the engine up and leave it idling while it comes to temperature. You should hear the fan kick in after a little while.
9. Carry some emergency essentials
If you do end up breaking down – after all, sometimes it’s inevitable – make sure you’re carrying a few essentials in the car. As well as all the usual hi-vis gear and safety equipment, we’d suggest taking a car charger for your phone, a large bottle of water, and some sunscreen.
10. Maintenance checks from Inchcape Audi
If you’re at all unsure how to complete any of these checks, contact a member of the servicing team at your nearest Inchcape Audi location to book your car in.