After many months of working from home, your car will require extra attention to prepare it for busier summer months and the staycations to come.
My guys want to make sure drivers keep both brakes and clutch in check. Brakes can quickly overheat, which can increase stopping distances or even complete failure. It is essential to thoroughly check the brake pads’ life cycle and ensure brake fluids are topped up, especially before long road trips across the country. Using a torch to get a good look at the brake pad will help determine its thickness. A worn-out brake pad is thin and will need replacing.
On the other hand, long journeys and heat create much extra work for the clutch. It is essential to pay extra attention when towing a caravan or trailer for a road trip or holiday. We wrote about how to load your car and trailer to avoid unnecessary clutch strain in an article before. READ MORE HERE
We also suggest keeping a close eye on cooling systems and fans in hot weather to avoid overheating. A leaking cooling system can cause direct damage to the car engine, causing severe repair costs. We advise you to check on all belts and hoses, as extreme heat can cause blistering and cracking, among other issues. Drivers should look out for cracks, fraying or splits on the top cover or signs of glazing on the belt’s sides, as glazed or slick belts can slip, overheat, or crack.
Many drivers, unfortunately, experience tyre blow-outs in summer. Tyres expand on exposure to heat and can dry out or disintegrate. We suggest checking tyre pressures regularly, as hot weather and intensive use may cause under-inflated tyres to blow out. Checking all tyres, including the spare and those on caravan and trailers before a long trip may spare a blow-out on a busy motorway.
Some situations might look serious but are essentially nothing to worry about. Air conditioning units, for instance, often produce small pools of water under the vehicle due to the condensed water emissions. Water vapour provided by the air conditioning unit may appear as though the smoke is coming out of the car’s air vents, while it could just be water that has not had the chance to condense. Unless it holds a particularly pungent smell, it is most likely safe to disregard.
Additional noise from under the car bonnet could be the cooling fan turning on and off, and while it can be loud in full operation, it is not a cause for concern. Less power delivery from car engines could be caused by the air being warmer and less dense. However, if the change to power delivery is significant, we recommend my guys looking.
Sometimes batteries will fail out of the blue, but usually, there are warning signs in advance, such as a car taking longer to start on a morning. It makes sense for drivers to get their battery checked regularly; that way, any problems can be detected.
As the temperature rises, often, we forget obvious things, such as taking care of our car’s windscreen wipers. They are made from rubber and may melt during extreme heat. Wipers should not be left on the glass, as they can cause serious damage.
Although some breakdowns cannot be foreseen, regular maintenance, servicing and health checks can identify potential problems in advance and keep a car running smoothly and safely, as well as avoiding costly bills. As many people start to head out further afield as restrictions ease, we encourage all drivers to ensure their cars are in peak condition after months of little use. Any driver who needs advice can visit Mr T Autos, where my guys will be happy to help.