Prep your car for summer

Posted by: Cal on 17/09/2013

Category: General

Spring is here and that means summer fun is not far away. Often during the summer season, your car can be the victim of a lot of rough and tumble.

The salty beach air, long road trips, dirt roads, cars packed full of friends and family and even more can all contribute to a car looking a little worse for wear during the holidays.

Fortunately there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure that your car stays in good condition throughout the summer. After all, you don't want to be left with a stranded with an unreliable car at a remote, idyllic beach. Or do you?

Keep it cool

The strong Aussie sunshine is fun to frolic around in, but it's not always so great for your car. It will really become a scorcher if you leave it parked outside with no shelter.

When possible, try to park your car in a shaded area, such as beside a building or under a tree (if you're willing to cope with the bird droppings!).

Consider investing in some car shades, such as one for your windscreen. This will mean that while parked, the front interior of your car won't heat up too much. No more burning your hands when you touch the steering wheel.

Make sure all your maintenance needs are up to date

Before you head out on a road trip, or even just down the road for a picnic, it's important that you've made sure your car is roadworthy.

Check that your levels of oil and water are all in the green. Check that your engine is running correctly and that your brakes are fully functioning. Listen out for any strange noises when you're braking, turning or at any time at all, as this can indicate that something is wrong.

Don't forget to give your car tyres a thorough inspection before you drive away. Check for any obvious punctures and definitely check your air pressure correctly at a service station. Also make sure that your tread depth is appropriate, because otherwise you can lose grip on the road easily.

Emergency supplies

Should a worst case scenario arise, you'll thank yourself for having spent a little extra time preparing for your journey.

Make sure that you have a spare tyre in your boot, and that it's in good, safe condition in case you experience an unfortunate blowout on your drive. Always keep a map with you in your car, as well as a well-charged cellular device.

A couple of spare bottles of water in the back will never go astray either. Nor will a few muesli bars and snacks. You may even consider packing a blanket and first aid kit. You never know how long you will need to wait for help is there is some kind of emergency or your car breaks down.

Be prepared for the terrain

If you're heading off on a summer adventure, make sure you know what kind of terrain you're going to be driving on. For example, will there be dirt roads or patches of sand? Will you be driving along the beach?

These different kinds of terrain need to be taken into consideration before you set out. Consult maps and guides to find out the condition of the roads and make sure your car is able to cope.
For example, your vehicle may need special 4x4 tyres, off-road if you are going to be taking your car out into the wilderness.

Keep these tips in mind during your summer adventures and enjoy getting out amongst the great outdoors.