18 Secret Summer Car Care Tip Is About To Be Revealed
With the winters passing by, the temperatures have risen and days are getting longer. It’s the most fascinating time to hit the open road. But before you revved up your engine, you need to ask your car whether it is ready to embark the journey.
Although summers are fun to most, it can be a hard time for your car, especially if you live in areas with temperatures in excess of 40° C. You might get the occasional thunderstorms, but if you aren’t prepared well, they can do more harm than good. To make sure your car is ready for the care-free journeys, there are several tips you need to follow.
These tips can be as small as general cleaning of your car to putting in efforts to get your car serviced by mechanics at authorised service centres. Here is an extensive checklist to help you and your car enjoy the summer in the best way:
PARKING THE CAR IN SHADE
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The sun is at its peak in the summer season, sufficient enough to cause some serious damage to your car’s paint causing it to lose its shine and become dull or faded and sometimes even a broken windshield. Other stuff that can worsen your car appearance is UV radiation, dirt, salts and pollution.
To protect your car from these harmful elements, ensure that your car rests in a shaded area: basement or under a tree. While many don’t have the luxury of own garages and covered parking spaces, if you do have, use it to keep your car in top shape.
CHECK THE CONDITION OF TYRES
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When the temperatures are very high, the tyres are adversely affected. To get the best out of your tyres, replace them every 5 years or 50000 km. High temperatures lead to increases in pressure inside the tyres. You can easily get your tyre filled up at the recommended tyre pressure at any fuel filling station, free of cost.
This is essential to maximise the mileage of your car. Also, check the condition of treads on the tyre. If you don’t follow these points, running your car on the sizzling tarmac will result in punctures, side-wall bulges, excessive tread wear and non-uniform tyre wear. Also, ensure that your spare tyre is in the best condition. You might require it anytime.
KEEPING THE ENGINE COOL
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In summers, overheating of the engine is a common issue, especially due to low coolant level. The icons indicating an overheated engine are easily visible on the instrument panel.
These include warning lights, steam escaping from the hood and rise in temperature gauge. If such a situation arises, don’t even think of driving further. Stop your car and wait till your engine cools down.
CHECKING THE LEVEL OF VARIOUS FLUIDS
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Who does not need fluids in summers? Even your car requires it. Get your car serviced at regular intervals to make sure that all the oils are topped up, be it engine oil, brake oil, transmission oil, power steering oil and differential oil. In addition to this, the radiator path should be cleaned to allow the cool air to move easily.
Talking about engine oil, it has a specific viscosity, below which it isn’t of much use. High temperatures may reduce the viscosity, thus affecting the engine performance. The more viscous is the oil, the better is its ability to lubricate the engine. You can check the oil by removing the dipstick and observing the colour and level of oil.
KEEPING THE AIR FILTER CLEAN
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The air conditioning system is the most sought-after feature in summers. Don’t run the system on the full blower, it will put a serious load on the engine and make your car lethargic.
The AC might turn out to be ineffective in high temperatures, and operating it at full speed might not do any good. There can be many reasons for its poor performance – a clogged air filter, low refrigerant level, and leakages. Get your car serviced regularly to avoid these problems.
PROTECTING THE INTERIORS
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Not just the exteriors, the interiors also face the brunt of a burning sun. Never drive a hot car. First roll down the windows, allow the air circulation-till you feel comfortable in the cabin. During this process, don’t turn on the air conditioning system. Avoid sitting in a hot car for long as it might affect your health leading to difficulty in breathing and nausea.
Don’t place your hands on the steering wheel after stepping into the interiors. The hot steering could literally burn your hand. When your car is not being used, it is a good idea to cover the steering wheel and the dashboard. This will also ensure that the interiors don’t fade and remain fresh.
Keeping your car out in hot weather can also lead to a stinky smell in the interiors, especially if you have leather seats. Make sure you have an air purifier and fragrant in the cabin. Keep the interiors clean, remove all the dust from the floor mats.
CHECKING THE CONDITION OF THE BATTERY
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The battery is a critical component of any car, but unfortunately few pay attention to its well-being. Most of the break down occurs due to failure of the battery, usually corroded battery terminals and dead battery.
You must ensure the correct levels of sulphuric acid and distilled water, as these fluids tend to get evaporate quickly due to the scorching heat. Low levels of these fluids will damage the battery and will leave your car stranded nowhere. Apart from this, the excessive summer heat can lead to over-charging of the battery.
The debris and corrosion at the terminals of the battery can be cleaned by using applying baking soda and water and scrubbing the paste using a toothbrush. After scrubbing, the terminals should be rinsed with a damp cloth. Secure the battery tightly after the process is completed.
INSPECTING THE BRAKES
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If you hear a squealing sound while braking or you feel that your brakes lack the punch, then you surely would need to get them checked. As brakes operate under extreme heat and high friction, the wear of brake pads is imminent.
CHECKING FOR WEAR & TEAR IN HOSES AND ENGINE BELTS
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As your car grows older, it experiences years of fluctuating weather conditions. This makes the engine belts and hoses weaker by inducing cracks in them, leading to loss of fuel, oil and coolant, and ultimately failure.
Always keep in mind to get checked the condition of these components too while getting your car serviced. From a DIY point of view, you can check the tension of the belt by pinching the belt with your thumb and forefinger and moving up and down.
KEEPING THE WIPERS IN BEST RUNNING CONDITION
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Peak temperatures in summers usually last for a few days, followed by thunderstorms and rain. Ensure that the blades of the wipers are not worn out, as instead of cleaning the windshield, it can lead to scratches all over.
ACCESSORIES FOR HEAT PROTECTION
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There are several accessories available in the market that can help your car fight off extreme weather and come out unharmed. Some of them are wax, polish, sunshade, Teflon coating. You should always have a car cover, in case you don’t want to go with the expensive paint protection technologies.
LOOK OUT FOR RUST
Pic credit: Subaru Outback
If you see any signs of rust anywhere on your car, it’s a concern. Rusts can spread easily and damage the body of the car in no time. The moment you see a rust spot, don’t neglect it. Do paint job to prevent further escalation of the rust. Nowadays, all the paint colours are available in the market.
Pic credit: dinitroldirect
Many manufacturers offer this at the time of selling the car. Though some cars have underbody protection, usually its not sufficient enough to prevent the underbody from damages caused by stones, coal tar, rust and water splashes.
A car’s underbody is exposed to the maximum wear and tear caused due to potholed roads, stones and muddy water. The fact that we cannot see the stuff happening underneath the car, we neglect it but in the long run, our car might suffer from it.
Opting for underbody coating processes will protect your car from these damages, minimise sound from underneath the car, insulate against heat and cold, provide protection against rust, increase the longevity of the car and improve the resale value.
CHECKING THE LIGHTS
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Before going out, it is necessary that you check the working of all the lights, be it headlights, taillights, indicator and brake lights. When it is raining heavily, headlamps will help you guide through the darkness. A weak or non-working light could indicate a weak or a dead battery respectively. In case you find any fault, get the lights replaced at service centres.
NEVER LEAVE KIDS OR PETS LOCKED INSIDE A PARKED CAR
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In the summer season, the temperature inside the car can become so high that you can’t sit in a parked car, even for 10 minutes. But many irresponsible adults leave their kids and pets inside the car until they return from shopping or other work.
Even the AC can’t be of any help as the occupants are unable to regulate their body temperature. This can prove to be fatal for the not-at-fault occupants.
DON’T LEAVE ELECTRONIC ITEMS INSIDE A PARKED CAR
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This is because the scorching heat might damage the items such as smartphones, laptops, tablets and cameras.
BEST TIME FOR REFUELING
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This is a smart tip to save money when refuelling your car. The best time to get the fuel tank refuelled is when the temperature is lower, i.e., early morning or late evenings and night. This is because the temperature of the fuel affects its density. At lower temperature, the density of the fuel is more. Thus, you get a richer fuel at the same price.
ALWAYS KEEP THE ESSENTIALS DURING YOUR JOURNEY
Should your car fail at any point, you should have some backup. This can include carrying some essentials such as emergency kit, spare tyre and its tools, water bottles, coolant, jumper cables, rain gear, food, flashlight, road flares, pocket knife, among others.
If you follow the above checklist, you are ready to hit the road in a ‘happy’ car. Apart from the above checklist, always follow the general tips for driving safe: wear your seatbelt, drive within the speed limits, don’t accelerate too much, use dipper at night etc., Keep yourself completely hydrated while driving. Take breaks after driving for every 2 hours. We at Mynewcar wish you a safe and sound journey.
Let us know what is the one thing you love the most while driving in summers and which one tip of the above checklist you find the most important.
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