Summertime temperatures soar and put a lot of stress on various parts of your car starting with the exterior paint all the way to metal components inside the engine. Here is a collection of tips and recommendations to maintain your car this summer and enjoy your drives.
Protecting the appearance of your car
Summer time means the sun will be bearing down hard down on your car. Tips to ensure your car’s paint is in good condition
- Wash the car regularly and ensure the car is dried properly. This prevents hard water stains, water spots and reduces chances of rusting.
- Waxing your car is the simplest way to ensure paint protection. Waxing helps in protecting your paint from pollutants as well as the UV radiation from the sun.
- Seek covered or sheltered parking wherever possible.
- It is not recommended to use car covers while the car is parked under direct sunlight since the air between the cover and the surface of the car tends to get heated up causing the paint to be exposed to intense heat without ventilation.
- For cabin plastics, there are special protective polishes that add shine, prolongs life and reduces fade out due to direct exposure to the sun.
Ensuring proper functioning of the engine
- Engine oil
- If you are likely to run your car daily during the summer, it’s recommended you at least ensure that the oil is at correct levels.
- To check the level of oil in your car’s engine, crank the engine and let it idle for around 2 minutes.
- Open the bonnet and pull out the engine oil dipstick.
- At the tip of the dipstick, you will notice two markings. If the oil level is not close to the upper marking, it means you’re low on oil.
- Also check its color and texture. Burnt oil is indicated by jet black color and it will be more viscous when you rub it between your fingers.
- It’s generally not recommended to top up the engine oil as it will lead to intermixing of oils at different viscosities
- If oil levels are low, get an oil change service done along with replacement of oil filter
- Fully Synthetic and semi-synthetic engine oils perform better even at high operating temperatures in summer
- Check hoses and belts
- Ensure that there are no cracks, leaks or loose connections in these hoses. Most vulnerable parts of the hose are the parts near clamps.
- Belts can be visually inspected for cracks and damage. Also if a belt looks extremely slick or smooth, it can cause slippage while operation.
- Coolant and Radiator
- Summer time can be stressful on your car’s cooling systems. If the engine is not cooled efficiently it will lead to rapid deterioration of the engine
- Check coolant levels through visual inspection of the coolant tank. Its recommended to top up concentrated coolant up to 1 ltr along with water in case of low coolant levels
- Clean the battery
- Summertime can speed up the chemical reaction inside a battery considerably reducing its lifespan. Top up distilled water in the battery.
- Ensure the battery is fastened properly and all the terminals are connected firmly and terminals are cleaned / sprayed with anti corrosion spray.
Ensure safe driving
- Replace your windshield wipers
- Being made of rubber, it’s easy to determine visually whether your windshield wipers require replacement or not.
- Brake Check up
- Brake pads and liners tend to get accumulated with brake dust and grime from the roads. Cleaning these brakes will ensure that they operate smoothly.
- Screeching noise on application of brakes could mean brake pads or liners are worn out, it’s recommended to inspect and replace them asap.
- Tyre pressure check
- Routine tyre checks are recommended during the summer. Under inflated tyres bulge outwards and put undue pressure on the tyre walls. If you continue to run the car without filling up the tyres, they might burst.
- Over inflated tyres will have less contact with the road which makes the car less grippier on the road.
- Ensure all your tyres have ample tread depth, especially your spare tyre. There’s no use in having an emergency spare which is not in good condition
- Apart from under inflated or over inflated tyres being a safety concern, it can also lead to excessive fuel consumption.
Ensure high comfort levels inside the car
- Air conditioning
Your car AC is the most important components that you’ll need to check before the onset of summer.
- Get the AC system checked for leaks or malfunctioning components in case of low cooling
- Get the AC ducts and vents sanitized or cleaned along with a replacement of the cabin air filter to ensure odour/germ free air in the cabin
- Interior upholstery
- Car interiors tend to get dirty and become a breeding ground for germs due to warm temperatures. A refresh with antimicrobial foam would keep the interiors clean and safe especially for family and kids
- Ensure windows are rolled down to allow complete drying of upholstery and carpets etc if any deep cleaning is carried out
- Sunfilm or shades
- Get RTO approved sunfilms and sun visors/shades to reduce exposure of car interiors to direct sunlight
- Light colored roofs
- For those with dark colored cars, you can get some respite from the heat by getting a light colored roof painting done or with vinyl wraps which will be heat reflective
Be it regular daily commutes or frequent long trips this summer, ensure your car is well taken care of so you and your family can enjoy the car as much as possible.