Helping Your Car Survive Summer

Helping Your Car Survive Summer

Tips on how to help your car get through summer.

It’s the hottest time of the year and that means your car has extra strain on it.

Summer is when you are going to find out whether your cars cooling system is up to the job and other components and systems like your electrical system (such as battery and starter motor) and air-condition system are also working harder when the temperature rises.

So how do you help your car survive summer and skip costly and inconvenient breakdowns? Well, the RAA has put together some tips that we think tick all the boxes.

RAA Summer Maintenance Tips:

Understand the Signs

  • Pull over immediately if you detect a burning smell or see steam or smoke coming from the engine. If you don’t, you run the risk of permanently damaging your engine and it could end up costing you a lot more than an annoying delay on the side of the road.
  • Remember to check your instruments regularly, and stop immediately if the gauge shows an unusual reading – very high or very low.
  • If you decide to add some coolant to an overheated radiator, DO NOT REMOVE THE RADIATOR CAP WHEN THE ENGINE IS HOT! First let the engine cool and then make sure the engine is running while you add the coolant so that the sudden change in temperature doesn’t cause damage to the engine.

Electrical system

  • The main causes of heat related breakdowns are failures of the cooling and electrical systems. The stress put on the electrical system, especially the battery, can be hard to predict.
  • Motoring organisations, including RAA Road Service patrols can supply you with a new battery.

Cooling system

  • Look at the hoses and drive belts for cracks, wear and tear.
  • When the engine is cold, check the level and condition of the coolant.
  • Externally look for at the radiator core for insects and other blockages and clean them out by hosing down. Don’t attempt to brush the core, as the fragile cooling fins could be damaged.
  • Don’t ever try to drive in an overheated car as you risk damaging the engine. If you can’t find the problem, let the car completely cool down, check the coolant level and either have the car checked at the nearest service station, or call for Road Service.

Air Conditioning

  • Make sure your air-conditioning is working efficiently. If in doubt, have it checked by a qualified professional.
  • The most important benefit of effective air-conditioning is that it reduces driver fatigue, keeping the driver alert, refreshed and more comfortable.

Keeping the cabin cool

  • Window tint can help reduce interior temperatures and this means less stress on you and your air-conditioner.
  • Window tint can reduce most harmful UV rays and this means you are protecting yourself as well as your car.

Got any more hints or tips to help you and your car keep your cool over summer? Get us via [email protected] or use our Contact page.

About the author

Joel Helmes

Joel is the founder, editor and managing director of Behind the Wheel. Joel has a background as a radio broadcaster with on-air roles at 4BC, 4KQ, 2KY, 2LT and 2UE amongst others, as well as a news editor and program director. Joel’s relationship with cars stems back to his early childhood learning to change oil and brakes with his father and uncle. This continued on into his driving years owning an assorted collection of cars.

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