Summer road trips are always fun, but driving during the hot Australian summer can put extra strain on your vehicle. To make sure that your car is properly prepared, just follow these tips.
Change Your Coolant
It should go without saying that your cooling system is going to be working overtime during the summer to keep your engine from overheating. You want to make sure that the mixture of coolant and distilled water is at around 50/50; just remember never to open the radiator cap while the vehicle is still hot, since this can lead to hot pressurized coolant streaming out.
It's usually best to have a mechanic change the coolant for you. This is something that should usually be done once a year, so schedule a change for the start of summer.
Use Air Conditioning Intelligently
Air conditioning becomes all but essential when you're driving in the extreme heat. Your A/C system should be serviced regularly by a qualified mechanic, but it still might not seem cold enough.
If that's the case, you can get more from the system by using it the right way. If you're driving in a dry climate, use the vehicle's 'fresh air' setting to fill the cabin with outside air; if you're in a humid area, use the 'recirculate' setting to eliminate the high-moisture outside air. Doing either will make it easier for the A/C system to cool you down, placing it under less stress at the same time.
Have Your Battery Checked
Most drivers know that cold weather can trigger battery problems, and yet few are aware of the potential effects of extreme heat.
High temperatures can be just as brutal on your battery, causing its fluid to evaporate and possibly creating a malfunction in the charging system. This can disable the battery, so it's best to be smart and have it inspected before you head out on a longer summer journey.
Keep Your Tyres Properly Inflated
It's always important to check your tyre pressure during the summer, especially when you're heading out on a long journey. High temperatures place extra stress on the tyres, and having them under-inflated will created excessive friction and even greater heat. It's only too likely for tyres to fail under such conditions.
However, over-inflated tyres can result in uneven wear to the tread, so remember to check your owner's manual and use a tyre pressure gauge.
Just follow these car service tips to make sure that you and your car can meet the summer sun with total peace of mind.