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Top 5 car maintenance tips for Summer

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Updated 9 Mar 2021

Jason Unrau

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Aah, summer. A great time to hit the beach and strut your stuff in shorts and thongs.

It’s the perfect time of year to take advantage of the season’s longer days by taking a drive along the coast, or through the city. Relax as you cruise along, listen to your favourite tunes and check out the night life.

However, before you can enjoy the perks of Australia’s gorgeous summer weather, you’ll need to make sure your car is in good shape. After all, you don’t want your summer plans interrupted by a breakdown, do you?

You can prevent costly car repairs by following these simple summer car maintenance tips!

Check your tyres

Your safety rides on your tyres – literally. They are the only parts of your vehicle that are actually in contact with the road, so it makes sense to keep them in their best possible condition.

Under or over-inflation of your tyres is dangerous and can lead to excessive tread wear.

Check your tyres monthly to ensure correct tyre inflation and adjust the pressure according to the placard on the driver’s door jamb.

Make sure there is at least 3mm of tyre tread remaining (have a mechanic check if you’re not sure). If under 3mm of tread left, your tyres need to be replaced.

Also, ensure your spare tyre is properly inflated and in good repair in the event of a flat.

Fix the check engine light

The most common problem you’re likely to experience is an illuminated Check Engine light.

It tells you your car’s not healthy in one way or another, yet doesn’t provide the exact mechanical issue.

Avoid the urge to ignore your Check Engine light. While the problem could be as minor as a loose fuel cap, it could be a major problem that could cost thousands to repair if not addressed quickly, or worse still, leave you stranded.

Change the engine oil

The engine oil is the lifeblood of your car.

It serves several purposes including cooling your engine, lubricating internal parts, and preventing corrosion inside your engine.

If your oil is low or dirty and you pay it no mind, you could find yourself stuck at the side of the road with the bonnet up, waiting for a tow truck.

Your engine oil should be changed regularly and according to your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, although summertime is a great time to do so.

Check your transmission fluid, engine coolant and other fluids while you’re at it.

Keep your car clean

A sense of pride accompanies a clean car, but there’s more to it than that.

Detailing your car can help prevent premature corrosion and hidden damage that can shorten your vehicle’s lifespan.

Wash your car’s exterior weekly if possible, scrubbing from top to bottom and rinsing well. This removes any road grime, tree sap, and tar that accumulates on the paint and glass.

Clean the interior monthly including a thorough vacuum, window clean, and interior wipe-down with a damp cloth.

A dirty interior can increase wear and dust can cause electrical parts to fail or stick.

Get a complete vehicle inspection

Before you head out on a summer trip, organise an overall vehicle inspection.

Have a certified mechanic check all the mechanical and electrical systems to ensure they are operating properly.

Get your battery and charging system tested, have all the fluids, brakes and lubrication points checked, and have the steering and suspension components looked over.

If there are any issues found, have them addressed straight away as this can prevent the costly and inconvenient situation of much higher mechanical costs or a breakdown.

If you find yourself in need of vehicle maintenance or repairs, from brake replacement and water pump repairs to oil change, car servicing and vehicle inspections, we can help.

Right. AutoGuru lets you search, compare and book from over 1,600 qualified mechanics across Australia. Get instant quotes online and pay with Afterpay. Boom!

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Written By

Jason Unrau

Jason is a Canadian automotive content writer with a background in the auto service industry, but he’s been hooked on cars and mechanics since childhood.

One of his first cars was an ’80 Mazda RX-7 that’s sorely missed to this day. A ’68 Ford Torino GT, a ’66 Ford Country Squire Woodie station wagon, and a ’96 Suzuki GSX-R 750 have spent time in his fleet of cars, bikes, and trucks over the past two decades.

Jason’s pride and joy is under construction – a turbocharged ’88 Mazda RX-7 convertible. Also on his resume is CASCAR official certification.