Getting your vehicle summer ready
In the summer, drivers need to consider the effects of the heat on their vehicle(s) and themselves whilst driving. Extreme heat can push your vehicle past its limits and leave you stranded on the side of the road waiting for the recovery truck. With this in mind, here are some simple tips that may prevent your vehicle from breaking down.
- Check your coolant levels regularly and make sure your coolant reservoir is filled to the right level, as a low coolant level may enable your engine to overheat. Never open the radiator cap when the radiator is hot to check your coolant levels, as hot steam and boiling coolant may spray out and burn you. If the coolant level is low, add ready to use coolant or a mixture of 50/50 water and concentrated coolant. Never use just water, as adding coolant to the water will help raise the mixture’s boiling temperature, and guard against corrosion.
- More battery problems occur in summer than in winter. While the cold can make the car harder to start as the current finds it hard to travel, the heat causes the battery fluid to evaporate, damaging its internal structure. Ensure the battery is mounted securely to prevent vibration and clean corrosion from battery terminals. If corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flow, and if the battery is older than three years, have it tested.
- Test your air conditioner. Ensure the air conditioner blows cold air and it is operating adequately. Nothing is worse than being stuck inside your vehicle with no air conditioner and the temperatures soaring hot. If your air conditioner is not blowing cold air, your system needs to be checked by your mechanic as soon as possible. If your vehicle doesn’t have air conditioning, have plenty of cool water with you and ensure your windows are rolled down, as driving in hot temperatures can make you feel sleepy.
- Check your wipers and screenwash, the hot weather may mean little to no rain, but you will still need your wipers as the number of bugs in the air increases with the heat, and these bugs do end up stuck to your windscreen and cause an obstruction to your view when driving. Therefore, you need to ensure your wiper blades are in good working order and that your wipers are working. You also need to ensure your screen wash reservoir is topped up regularly, and good quality screen wash helps remove these bugs.
- Check your tyres to ensure they are adequately inflated, and the tread is ok. Underinflated tyres make the tyres run hot, and along with the hot air temperatures, there is an increased risk of a blowout.
- It is essential to check all your vehicle’s fluid levels and top up your engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc. These fluids are important to the operation of your vehicle and will ensure it is running at its optimal performance to help prevent breakdowns leaving you on the side of the road in the heat.
Another tip for you and your passengers when travelling during the good weather is to ensure you have a cap and sunscreen in the car for if you do break down and are stuck waiting on the recovery truck, as you may have to wait outside. Have plenty of water to prevent dehydration, especially on long journeys. If the heat makes you feel tired, pull over and take a break. When carrying young children in the car, you should use some form of sunshade to help keep the sun off them when beside a window. For more information on a full range of coolants, screen wash and lubricants, please contact Finol Oils at 01 2238842 or visit www.finol.ie.
Finol will be exhibiting at this year’s Auto Trade EXPO, which takes place from Saturday and Sunday, October 15-16 at the RDS Simmonscourt in Dublin.