When summer comes around, many Australians like to hit the road for a trip along the coast or into the Outback. However, when things heat up, it can place additional strain on your car, as it has to work much harder to continue running as it should. To keep your vehicle running and avoid having to spend cash on expensive repairs, you should carry out hot weather car maintenance before you set off on your summer trip.
Check the Condition of the Battery
High temperatures can cause your car battery to lose its charge, so you should check its condition before heading out on a long journey. First, make sure the battery has no visible signs of damage or leakage. If it does, you will need to replace it with a new one. To ensure your battery is carrying its maximum charge, you should remove it from your car and charge it using a home charging unit. If you notice any white powdery corrosion on the terminals of the battery, you should mix water and baking soda into a paste and apply it to the corroded area. After a few minutes, use a hand brush to remove both the paste and the corrosion.
Test the Air Conditioning System
One thing you are going to need to keep cool when driving in the heat of summer is your car's AC system. You should take your car for a short drive and test every fan setting to ensure there are no blockages which will prevent the cold air from circulating the interior of your vehicle. You should also pay attention to how long it takes for your car to cool. If it takes longer than expected, you may need to have the AC unit serviced by an auto mechanic.
Check the Engine Cooling System
An overheated engine is a common cause of roadside breakdowns in the summer. Therefore, it is vital that you check the state of the cooling system under your bonnet before things begin to warm up. You should make sure the radiator has enough fluid in it. If the fluid level is low, you should top it up using distilled water and anti-freeze, as ordinary tap water can cause sediment to build up within the cooling system. The antifreeze raises the boiling point of the water and helps to prevent a build-up of pressure within your engine's cooling system. You should check your owners manual for details of the ratio of distilled water and antifreeze which is required.
Before heading out on the road this summer, have your car serviced at an auto service centre.