Summer is almost upon us as June changes into July and we welcome the return of the sun and warm weather for an all-too-brief season of holidays, days out and family fun. Whether you are off on holiday this summer or just getting out and about, your car will have a large part to play in your enjoyment of the better weather, and making sure you're well prepared can be the difference between having a fantastic summer and standing glumly at the side of the road.
Preparing the car need not be a long-winded affair either. Carrying out a few simple checks before you head off on any long journeys can make sure your car is in top shape to deal with long hours on the road.
So what checks should you be looking to make this summer? We take a look at a few of the most important.
Incorrectly inflated tyres can cause you many problems when you're on the road, from affecting your handling to causing your car to use up more fuel. When you're on a long journey, these are the last things you'll want to be dealing with.
Always make sure to check the pressure of each tyre before you leave home and make sure it correlates with the advice given in your car's handbook. And don't forget to check the spare tyre – you never know when it could come in handy.
Speaking of spares, it's also worth checking the health of all your tyres before you set off. The hot weather can exacerbate weaknesses in the rubber compound and any small damage can lead to a puncture. Have a look for cracks, bulges and any other problems and make sure to have new tyres fitted if you think there are any problems at all with your current ones.
Check the fluids
Getting under the bonnet can be a messy job, and you might not want to get your hands dirty before you head off, but it's always advised. After all, you don't want to be breaking down and having to wait for a recovery vehicle to help get you back on the road.
Coolant, oil, brake fluid and windscreen washer should all be checked before you leave home. The last of these in particular is important to remember as it's something that a lot of people will neglect in summer. Even if it's not raining, dirt on the road can affect visibility and you may need your wipers more than you think.
Another necessity that you may relate to winter more than summer is the need for an emergency kit. However, this is just as important in summer to make sure you don't get lost or end up in a sticky spot.
Key things to remember include a sat nav if you are travelling a long distance to somewhere you're not familiar with, food for long journeys, water if it's a long drive and a warm day in particular, and even a phone in case you should break down.
Before heading off, it can also pay to have your car booked in for a full vehicle health check, which will make sure all the key aspects of your car are in good health for your summer of driving.
Posted by Danielle Barge