Many of us will be hitting the road early January, once the family Christmas and New Year festivities are over. Here are a few simple tips to help you and your car get to your destination safely.
Check your battery
Heat can be just as tough on a battery as colder weather (because of the greater demands placed on them). Batteries older than three years should be checked. Battery Fluid can evaporate causing damage and accelerate corrosion.
Top up or change fluids
Check all fluid levels, including engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid. Low fluid levels decrease the ability of the vehicle to cool components and can lead to overheating.
Keep your engine cool
Your engine relies on its cooling system to maintain a specific operating temperature. During summer, the cooling system has to work even harder to do its job and protect your engine from overheating. Over time, coolants can become contaminated and additives lose their effectiveness. For best results, flushing your cooling system and replacing the coolant with fresh fluid is recommended, (only add coolant that is recommended by the manufacturer).
Check the air level and ensure they are inflated properly. You should also check your spare tyre to make sure it is ready to go should such an emergency arise. After all, it’s not much good having a spare tyre, if it is in need of repair itself.
A dirty windshield is not only irritating it can cause eye fatigue and pose a safety hazard. Replace any worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises or longer stopping distances. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.
Prepare for an emergency
Sadly, sometimes things just go wrong. So do yourself a favour and keep some boot space for the following items. They may just save your road trip from turning into an unexpected pit stop:
- Screwdrivers and wrenches of various sizes
- Jumper Leads
- Jack and Tyre Iron
- Quick Fix Tyre Sealant (for temporarily sealing a flat tyre to get you home or to the nearest garage)
- Water (for you and the radiator)
- Emergency flares and reflectors
- Blanket and towel
Follow these basic summer car care tips to help ensure you’re not the person stranded on the side of the road this summer.
Drive safely, stop and revive when necessary, and most importantly, enjoy your holiday!