As much as the weather in the UK is a little temperamental right now, we all know that summer is on it’s way and if your anything like me, I bet you can’t wait. I’ve seen so many exciting bits on social media for new summer make up launches, wardrobe updates and summer body workouts galore. The one thing I haven’t seen yet, is how to make sure your car is ready for summer … yes you did read that right. We put so much time and thought into picking our summer wardrobe staples and smashing the workouts to get that beach body, but do we check our cars to make sure they are in tip top shape? Probably not as much as we should, yet it’s an everyday essential. Plus let’s be honest, we are quick to complain as soon as something goes wrong and we don’t have a car to use. So today’s post is going to be the girls guide to getting your car ready for summer – I promise it’s easier than you think!
First up is tyres…
Are your tyres within the legal limit? Do you know what the legal limit is? Did you know there is a risk of a £2,500 fine and a minimum of 3 points on your license if they’re not and that’s just for one tyre! I don’t know about you, but I would much rather buy a Chanel with that money; especially when tyres are so easy to check. You can pick up gauges in most places now (Tesco, Ebay, Amazon) that will help you measure them accurately. Failing that you can always use the rim of a 20p coin! You can find a step by step guide here. You want all four tyres to have a continuous depth of 1.6mm across the central 3/4 of the tread. Don’t forget to check the pressures too; having the wrong tyre pressure can produce uneven wear on your tyres costing you more money.
Next up is fluid levels…We all know how important it is to stay hydrated during the summer months and making sure your car’s fluid levels are right is just like keeping your car hydrated. As soon as they are too low a whole heap of problems can occur. Most of the fluids and oils will have a minimum and maximum marker and you just need to check that the level is between the two. If they are a little low then top them up straight away. Some levels you may want to check are:
- Oil (sorry ladies not the tanning kind)
- Brake fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Windscreen wash
There is a helpful little guide here if you’re not too sure
Let’s take coolant as an easy example. How many times have we woken up and seen that brilliant sunshine, headed straight out the door, only to find the rest of the planet wants to do the same? We then end up getting stuck in traffic queuing to get to the beach. The last thing you want is to be stuck on the side of the road with a car that’s overheated… trust me it’s not a glamorous look!
Things not to ignore…
I am sure we have all had that experience where you’re driving along and hear some sort of strange noise. You get that sinking feeling in your tummy; hoping and praying that it’s not your car and if it is that it’s not that bad. Unfortunately, these things happen and they have to be fixed, so I just wanted to cover a few things that shouldn’t be ignored.
- Brakes – grinding or squealing when braking
- Exhaust – blowing, hissing or excessive fumes smelt inside your car
- Battery – struggling to start your car first time, clicking noises
- Engine – a metallic tapping noise
Last but not least is servicing…
Since buying my car 18 months ago, I no longer dread paying to have my car serviced. I want to keep it in the best condition, so I know it’s going to be reliable. Plus, I would be so disappointed if something went wrong and I knew I could have avoided it. This also gives an expert a chance to check your brakes, filters and other important things that you may not be confident in doing yourself. Just think of it as a little spa trip for your car. We all function so much better when we have had a little pampering and so will your car!
Now this might not be your average blog post and some people might think it’s strange, but I’ve been in the position where I have owned a car as old as me as well as owning one that’s new. Either way they have both needed looking after; breaking down on your way to work, being without a car and having bills that are sky high is definitely not the one! Don’t be afraid to learn how to look after your car ladies! Learning the basics can save you so much time and money. Just knowing when you need to take your car for a little TLC can save you from being stuck without one!
Have you checked your car over for summer yet? If not don’t worry, you still have plenty of time. If you happen to live in the south of Scotland you can book your tyres in Dunfermline at Fife Autocentre to make sure they are all ready for summer. They have various other locations and offer lots of other car maintenance services such as batteries, brakes and MOTs too. More information is available here.
Thank you to Fife Autocentre for kindly sponsoring this post and letting me be part of their summer awareness campaign!