When we think of summer, we tend to think of barbecues and holidays as opposed to car maintenance, but the warm weather doesn’t mean that we can slack on our car checks.
Car maintenance is still as important in the summer as it is any other time of year, so here are 4 essential summer car checks to carry out yourself.
Check your wiper blades
Summer in the United Kingdom is often a rainy time of year, so checking that your windscreen wiper blades are working properly is really important to ensure that you can see the road properly.
Windscreen wipers are subject to quite a lot of wear and tear and, because they’re not the most durable of devices, you can more or less expect to have to replace them sooner or later.
When giving them a once over, check for any splits in the rubber wiper – this could be the cause of streaks of water being left on the windscreen in your line of vision.
If there are splits in the rubber wiper, it’s time to replace them. This task shouldn’t be neglected in clear weather either; windscreen wipers are essential for cleaning dirt and insects from the windscreen as well as rain.
If you find that you often have problems with your windscreen wipers, read this post on how to fix common windscreen wiper problems.
Make sure all of your lights are working properly
It will be a challenge to carry out this check alone, so try to bring a friend or family member along for this one. It’s monumental that, for good health and safety, your cabin lights, headlights, fog lights, side lights, brake lights, reverse lights, and full beam lights are all in top condition.
Turn on each light individually, exit your vehicle, and check if they’re working (but remember, you will need assistance when checking your brake lights).
If any of your bulbs have gone or are showing signs of flickering, you can opt to change them yourself or get them changed at a garage.
Check for wear on your tyre tread
Having tyres with a safe and legal tread depth is essential for being able to break promptly. In the UK, the legal limit is 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the tread around the circumference of the tyre.
We spoke to Volkswagen Motor Parts who said: “It’s best to use a tread depth indicator to carry out this check, but a 20p coin will also do the trick as well. You can do this by placing a 20p piece into the groove of your tyre; if you can see the outer edge of the 20p coin, it’s time to replace the tyre.”
In fact, many tyres on the market have tread wear indicators engraved into them. If your tyres wear down to the indicator, then you have reached the legal tread depth minimum and it is time to replace your tyres.
Check the air conditioning
Attempting long car journeys in the warmer weather can be uncomfortable, so it is essential that you have well-functioning air conditioning during the summer.
It is likely that you won’t have used the air conditioning since last summer and it’s not uncommon for air conditioning to lose its impact or develop a fault as time goes on.
You can check the air conditioning by turning it on, waiting a few minutes, and seeing whether it is performing to its best ability. If it’s not performing to a high standard, you should go to your nearest garage to get the air conditioning gas recharged.
If you’re unsure about how to recharge your air conditioning, read this guide.