Top 8 Seasonal Car Care Tips
In order to maximise your vehicle’s performance and minimise issues, you need to take care of it properly. In particular, you need to perform seasonal maintenance to make sure that your car stays in good shape no matter the weather.
There are several things you need to do to ensure that everything in your vehicle is in tip-top shape. However, here are some of the most important things when it comes to seasonal car care:
Check the Engine Cooling System
Checking your car’s engine cooling system is particularly important during the summer to prevent overheating. Make sure that there’s enough coolant in the reservoir; ideally, it shouldn’t reach below the halfway mark.
In addition, the colour of the fluid should be a clear neon yellow or orange; if it’s dark, dirty, or muddy in appearance, it’s time to change it.
Lastly but most importantly, check the radiator. Inspect the hoses and make sure that there aren’t any leaks. You should also check the seal of the radiator cap (but make sure to do this only when the car is completely cool).
Check the Belts and Hoses (and Replace When Needed)
Your car’s belts and hoses are more prone to damage during the colder seasons. Make sure to check for any blisters, cracks, cuts, and leaks and replace when needed.
You can check out a reliable auto parts shop for high-quality components. Note that most of the time, replacing the belts will also mean replacing other parts, such as the pulleys.
Aside from inspecting the physical condition of the hoses, make sure to also check if the belts are secured. If there are any sections that are loose, tighten them to the correct tension. If they can’t be tightened due to their physical condition, replacement is the only solution.
Lubricate the Chassis
If you have a newer car model, chances are that it’s “lubricated for life.”
Still, it’s best to check your owner’s manual and check which parts of the chassis require regular lubrication. Some of these parts include steering components, especially if they’re no longer the original parts of your car.
Replace the Oil During Winter
If you live somewhere with colder winters, it’s a good idea to use a winter weight oil. It has a lighter viscosity, which can help your car start-up faster and more efficiently in cold weather.
A winter weight oil also helps lubricate your engine better since it flows more smoothly compared to thicker oils.
Inspect the Windshield and Wipers
During hot and dry conditions, your windshield’s main enemy is dust.
During colder months, especially those that experience snow, your car’s windshield can be hit by sand or salt. Any of these types of debris can scratch, chip, or crack the glass in the long run. Not only do these kinds of damage hamper visibility, they can also affect the effectiveness of other safety features.
In short, if your windshield has any sort of damage, have it repaired or replaced. You should also ensure that your windshield wipers are in good shape. Check their condition and replace them if they are chipped, cracked, or melted. Top off the windshield wiper fluid as well.
Check the Brakes
Both hot and cold weather can affect the condition and performance of your car’s brake system.
Regularly inspect the components, particularly the pads and the rotors, to make sure that they’re in good condition. For brake pads, replace them once they’re only about a quarter of an inch thick or if they have reached the wear indicator.
Check and Clean the Battery
It’s important to check your car’s battery during hot weather because extreme heat can lessen its efficiency. In turn, a less efficient battery produces even more heat. It can even damage the engine.
To combat this, have your battery tested to know if it can withstand the temperature. You may also want to add distilled water from time to time to reduce damage caused by overheating.
Cleaning the battery terminals is also crucial to maintaining battery health. You can use baking soda for this, especially if there’s any corrosion present. To ensure a good connection, add some dielectric grease to the terminals.
Rotate and/or Replace the Tyres
Your car’s tyres are a big component of your ride comfort, stability, and safety, so it’s only logical to keep them in good shape.
Check the pressure of ALL the tyres (including the spare) each month and inspect the treads for uneven or irregular wear. Inspect if the tyres have cracks, too, which can be caused by excessive heat (which dries the material) or age.
Replace the tyres when needed, particularly when the treads are worn down or there are some irreparable damage. Finally, rotate your tyres every 10,000 kilometres.
As a car owner, it’s your responsibility to take care of it. This is not only for your own safety, but also that of your passengers, fellow drivers, and pedestrians. Thankfully, these maintenance tips can help make sure that your car is in good shape no matter the season.