After a long and decidedly dismal winter, summer is once again upon us. We can now enjoy trips to the beach, excursions with the family and driving during pleasant weather. Many believe that they can let their guard down in terms of caring for their vehicle and while it is true that the elements might not be as harsh when compared to the winter months, there are still a handful of summer car maintenance suggestions to keep in mind. Let’s take a quick look at how you can keep your hire car in top-top shape so that no unexpected damage occurs along the way.
Following Up with Potential Winter Damage
It is often difficult to appreciate any possible to damage to a vehicle when it is cold and dark outside. This is why it is a good idea to closely examine the car during the early summer. Check for common road related issues such as a build-up of rock salt on the undercarriage and any pits caused by loose dirt being kicked up while driving. Quickly addressing these issues is important, as they will only become worse with time.
Washing Your Car: Habits to Avoid
It is likely that you will be washing your vehicle from time to time now that the weather is more pleasant. In terms of summer car care tips, you might be surprised to learn that washing is very important. Always make sure that any sponges and cloths used are completely free from particles such as sand or dirt. Even a single grain will scratch the surface and lead to noticeable flaws. This can be costly in terms of car hire, as you might be required to pay for such damages. If you suspect that grit may have accidentally become embedded within a sponge, quickly replace it with a new unit.
Caring for the Interior
Modern vehicle interiors are the epitome of comfort and style. However, this may also come at a price. Surfaces such as vinyl, plastic and leather are highly sensitive to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. If they are continually exposed, their colours will fade and cracking may even occur. There are two ways to prevent such scenarios. First, apply vinyl and leather treatments specifically formulated for vehicles. Secondly, invest in a windscreen shade if you happen to be parking in the direct sunlight. A bit of prevention can indeed go a long way!
Examine the Engine
As temperatures begin to rise, the engine will be placed under different stresses than those associated with winter. This is therefore the perfect time to take a look at the engine and those components which suffer from wear and tear. Some major areas to examine include:
- The air filter
- The oil filter
- All belts (such as the fan belt and the serpentine belt)
- Spark plugs (if applicable)
Also, check to make sure that all of the fluids are at their appropriate levels. Oil, brake fluid and coolant should be carefully analysed, as lower amounts can cause mechanical issues within the engine.
Whether we like it or not, the chances are high that it will rain sooner or later. Winter can be notoriously difficult on windscreen wiper blades and if they have become damaged, they can easily scratch your windscreen. This may lead to costly repairs. Summer car maintenance should always address such a seemingly minor issue.
If you have not used the air conditioning for months, it is wise to test it out to ensure that it is running properly. There are times when disuse can lead to small leaks. If this occurs, consult with a local mechanic to address a small concern before it evolves into a major problem.
Following these simple summer car care tips will guarantee that you are able to enjoy comfort and reliability while out and about. Let’s always remember that the car should always be returned to the hire firm in the same condition in order to avoid additional charges. For additional car hire advice, be sure to check back with Caversham Vehicle Hire on a regular basis.