The hot summer months are pretty tough for the average vehicle – rising temperatures and increased mileage for staycations are just two of the reasons why this season should demand just as many vehicle checks as winter.
Here’s a run through of the critical components you should be paying attention to.
Your vehicle’s air filter has an important task – it stops dirt and grit from getting into the engine. Because of the role it plays it can quickly become thick with dirt, stopping it from working effectively. To avoid this you should replace the air filter every year.
Whether you’re planning a long drive for a week’s staycation or are simply using your vehicle for the day to day, staying on top of your brake maintenance is critical for your safety. For this task you’ll need to visit a garage, where they’ll check your pads, discs and braking fluid.
Oil is an essential lubricant for your engine – should it run dry you risk the potential of serious damage being done to your engine, and a garage bill that could run into the thousands. Stay on top of your oil levels with weekly dipstick checks.
Your vehicle’s cooling fan is responsible for decreasing the engine temperature to avoid overheating, however should the fan seize, the coolant contained in the engine can rise to boiling point – which will inevitably lead to expensive repair bills.
To check how your cooling fan is fairing, turn your vehicle on and set your heating to cold, then allow the vehicle to run for 10 minutes. Following this period, the fan should begin to operate – if it doesn’t, and your temperature gauge is rising, there’s clearly a problem. Speak to your local garage so that they can inspect the issue further.
When temperatures are hitting the mid 30’s you begin to appreciate just how much you rely on your air con, particularly if you suffer from hay fever, as the system can reduce the pollen within your vehicle.
However the chances are that you’ve likely not used your air con over winter, if at all, which can cause the components to seize. Leave your air con to run for a while to check that all is well – and be aware that the system will use 15% of its gasses each year – which should ideally mean that you book in for an air con service every 30,000 miles.
Winter takes a serious toll on your battery – with heating, lights and wiper blades that are used heavily. After this trying season, it’s good practice to ensure your battery is fighting fit for summer. If you notice that your vehicle takes a few attempts to start then it may be time to replace the battery. You can also check the health of your battery at a garage – which is usually a free service.
The bright glare of the sun can be made all the more dazzling where your windscreen is dirty, potentially leading to accidents and almost certainly worsening your visibility of the road. It’s then critical that your vehicle has a ready supply of windscreen wash, and that your wiper blades are in good order – free from splits, cracks and damage.
The AA report that punctured tyres are by far the most common reason for breakdowns over the summer, which isn’t so surprising when you consider that the warmer road surface temperatures worsen any pre-existing damage. To counter this, you need to give your tyres a quick visual inspection, and check your tyre pressure regularly. You also need to be sure that you haven’t ran your tyre tread down over the punishing winter months – they should each have the legal minimum of 1.6mm in tread (including the spare tyre).
Van unfit for the summer season? We’ve just the solution. CVS Van Hire, in Tottenham and Enfield can help. Get in touch with our Tottenham base on 02080034522 or our Enfield team on 02081084693. You can also send us a message via our contact page.