Summer is almost here in all it’s glory. The heat, dust and stop-and-go traffic will take a toll on your vehicle but with periodic maintenance you can lessen the odds of mechanical failure, make your vehicle last longer and command a higher resale price too. The tips below will help you get your vehicle summer ready.

Air Conditioning:

In hot weather a marginally operating system will fail, you can have the system examined by a qualified technician. Also check your owner’s manual for location and replacement interval.

Cooling System:

The greatest cause of car breakdowns in the summer season is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, conditioning and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps and hoses should be checked by a professional.

Oil:

It is very important to change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual. If you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with loads of luggage or tow a trailer it is recommended to change your oil every 4800km.

Engine Performance:

Other filters like air, fuel and PCV should be replaced more often in dusty conditions. You can get engine drive-ability problems like hard starts, rough idling and diminished power corrected at an auto shop or car technician.

Windshield Wipers:

A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and make sure you have plenty of windshield washer solvent.

Lights:

Inspect all your lights and bulbs on a monthly basis. Replace burned our bulbs and periodically clean dirt and insects form all lenses.

Tires:

It is important to have your tires rotated about every 8000km. Check tire pressure once a month before driving, while they are still cold, and alignment is warranted if there is uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.

Brakes:

If you notice pulsation, grabbing, noises or longer stopping distance you should take your car in to have your brakes inspected and corrected promptly.

Battery:

Batteries can fail any time of the year. Routine care you can follow is to scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections, clean all surfaces and re-tighten all connections. Always wear rubber gloves and eye protection!

Emergencies:

Carry some basic tools, first aid kit, flares and a flashlight.