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Summer Car Care Tips

As we roll headfirst into the summer months (sun block, togs and sunnies in tow), it’s important to take the time to give your car its seasonal checkup. Get road-trip ready with these summer car care tips, helping you feel at ease on the open road.

1. Feel the Pressure
As part of your summer maintenance, you should Inspect all your tires, including the spare if your vehicle has one. Keep an eye out for any cuts, gouges or sidewall bulges. It’s worth popping a coin down into grooves to check tire tread.

If your car has been idle and tires out of use, be sure to check the pressure. The vehicle manufacturer will have a recommended pressure, so inflate accordingly. The best way to check is in your owner manual for the most accurate number recommendation.

2. Put the brakes on
If you hear a grinding sound or feel vibrations when applying the brakes, make sure you take your vehicle to an auto repair shop for a brake inspection. A professional will check out the pads, rotors, shoes, drums and your braking system for fluid leaks.

3. Running flat out?
Inspect the car battery, checking for clean and tight cable connections, and that your hardware is secure. Have a service professional do a battery check to determine remaining capacity.

4. Keep on Moving
Before you set out on that big trip, check that engine oil, coolant and brake, transmission and power steering fluids are sitting at their correct levels for safe vehicle operation. When adding fluids, use products that meet the specifications listed in the owner’s manual.

5. Keep your eyes on the road
Rubber wiper blades have the tendency to naturally deteriorate over time. If your wipers streak on the window or fail to clear the windshield, you should replace the blades. In addition you can fill the windshield washer reservoir with fluid aimed at removing insects and debris and test to make sure the nozzles spray as they should.

6. Keep things Cool
Take a test drive with the air con running. If you notice a decrease in cooling air, take the car to the repair shop for them to check it out.

7. Just in case..
It would be a good idea to keep a well-stocked first-aid kit in your vehicle. Items in it should include a torch and extra fresh batteries, appropriate medical supplies, drinking water, non-perishable snacks for people and pets, car battery booster cables, emergency flares or reflectors, a rain poncho, a basic tool kit, duct tape, gloves and paper towels.

Oh, and lastly, don’t forget to pop necessities in the glove box to make sure you don’t get caught out. Think sunscreen, insect repellant, and maybe even a spare pair of jandles. And as always, we recommend an umbrella in the boot – we hope you don’t need it, but you never know with New Zealand!