Is there anything as therapeutic as driving with the windows down, music playing and the sun beating off the road ahead?
Most of us remember to look after our car health in winter, but we can’t forget that the summer presents its own challenges for our cars. It’s important that you bring your car for a full check-up each year but, before you feel the wind in your hair and take a summer road trip, you should also check the following during the hotter months:
Get your tyres checked regularly for tread depth and wear and tear, making sure they are never less than the legal 1.6mm.1 Higher temperatures during the summer months can affect existing weak spots and increase the likelihood of a puncture.
In the event of a flat or burst tyre, always have a jack and spare tyre in your boot. To read more on tyre safety, you can read our guide or watch our video for more information.
Maintaining the correct level of oil is essential to prevent engine failure which can be costly. The oil works by lubricating the moving parts of your vehicle. Without regular oil checks, there is a risk that your engine will seize up. Ensuring you have an existing car insurance policy will help protect you should you have to repair or replace your engine.
Another tip for protecting your car is to do a full oil change if the dipstick comes out grimy.
Wipers and Windscreen Fluid
Ensure your window wipers work effortlessly. If they’re screeching over your windscreen, you’ll need to replace them. With the dryer weather there is more chance of dust sticking to your windscreen and affecting your visibility of the road so also make sure to top up your windscreen washer fluid regularly.
With the higher temperatures in summer (a bit hit and miss in Ireland we know), coolant is very important as it keeps your engine from overheating.2 Insufficient coolant levels can run the risk of your vehicle overheating and cause damage to the engine.
Be sure to check your aircon is working, it’s especially important that you can keep the temperature down if you’ve kids or pets in the car.
Never leave your child in your parked car, even for a few minutes. A parked car’s temperature can rise by 10°C in just 10 minutes, and a child’s body temperature rises quicker than an adults.3
You may need to get your aircon checked if the air isn’t coming out cold, if it smells or makes a noise when you turn it on, if there’s condensation inside your vehicle or if no air is coming out but the button is on.
Protect Car from Sun
While the above tips are good for general summer weather, there are other precautions you should take when the sun is out including:
- Park in the shade, where possible, to help prevent your dashboard from cracking and protect leather seats from heating up.
- Use a windscreen sun protector and window shades to keep your car cool and prevent sun damage.
- Add UV protective tint to your windows but ensure the visual light transmission (VLT) is within legal limits. In Ireland, you need at least 65% for your vehicle to be roadworthy.
Although our last tip isn’t directly related to protecting your vehicle, wear sunglasses to keep glaring sunlight from your eyes. If you require glasses to drive, invest in prescription sunglasses for summertime driving, you won’t know yourself!
Always pay attention to any warning signs your car gives you and get them checked out as soon as possible. Take a refresher course on the various dashboard warning lights in your car, and what they mean.
Concerned about protecting your car all year round? We’ve got you covered. Take a look at Aviva car insurance and learn all about our benefits, as standard.