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After a gruelling winter, your car is most likely going to need a good health check after experiencing some extreme weather conditions that would have affected many components of your vehicle. We have amalgamated a list of tips and checks to ensure your car is summer ready.
There’s nothing worse than being sat in a hot car, turning on the air conditioning and warm air proceeding to blow in your face. This is a sign that your air con needs re-gassing. Many people don’t realise that your vehicles air conditioning needs regular maintenance to ensure that it works at its maximum capacity, failing to do this can result in some seriously uncomfortable summer drives – which can be even worse when you’re stuck in traffic. An air con re-gas is a relatively simple job, replacing the old refrigerant gas, with new and much cooler refrigerant. If you’re not sure when the last time you got your air con re-gas, it may be worth taking it to a reputable garage like Central Autopoint Ltd to ensure it is done properly.
Although you can by air-con re-gas kits online, we do not suggest using these as they aren’t much cheaper than getting a garage to do it for you, but you also have more chance of it going wrong. We offer free inspections to find out the issue with your air conditioning system, and if it is as simple as needing a re-gas, we are more than qualified to get the job done.
Pollen and other allergens that seem to show up just in time for summer can not only be irritating, but can distract you from going about your normal routine, so making sure your pollen filter (if you have one) is in good working condition is important as you need to be comfortable and able to stay focused when driving. The pollen filter prevents these pollutants from blowing through with the cool air of your air conditioning. Many people will get the pollen filter replaced at the same time as getting their car serviced, or every 12 months / 12,000 miles, depending which one comes first. Replacing the pollen filter involves releasing the glove box to be able to get access to the filter. Many people may tell you that finding the pollen filter can be a difficult task, taking your car to a garage will ensure that this is done properly, and will only actually a take a reliable and professional garage 10-15 to carry out.
Having the necessary equipment in your car in preparation for summer-related emergencies can often be overlooked by the average motorist. However, many people won’t realise how important these are until they are in a situation where it’s probably the thing they need most. Firstly, keeping cold water in your car is very important in the event that you breakdown somewhere where fresh water isn’t readily available, you really aren’t sure how long you could be sat in the blistering heat for before rescue comes, so a simple bottle of water is always recommended to keep yourself hydrated whilst you wait for help. First aid kit maybe the most obvious piece of equipment to carry in your car during the summer, especially if you have kids. Your first aid kit should hold the essentials like plasters, bandages and antiseptic wipes, however carrying emergency numbers within your first aid kit is just as important. However, how are you going to contact these numbers if your phone is dead? That brings us on to our next item – a phone charger. If there’s nowhere to plug your phone into inside your car, then make sure your phone is fully charged before setting off on long journeys. The next item you should keep in your car is jumper cables. This may not just benefit you, but might also benefit the unfortunate victim of a car breakdown you find stranded on the side of the road, or even friends and family. In the event that your car’s battery died, jumper cables are the most essential item to keep with you when driving.
In terms of your cars performance, tyres are up there with the most important components of your car in making sure they are suitable and legal for driving on the roads. Tyres go through a lot of stress during the winter months which is why it is so important to inspect the condition of your tyres and get any repairs needed to keep you and your passengers safe. We recommend having a new set of summer tyres to replace the tyres used during the winter as this will ensure better performance suited to the weather. Without getting into too many details, tyres made specifically for tyres are made differently to match the conditions of the road. There are many checks you can do before deciding to take your car into the garage, for example checking the tread depth, we recommend using a tread depth gauge for measuring as it will give you the most precise measurement, however there are other ways to check this, for example, many people use a 20p coin by placing it in the grooves, if you can see the outer band of the coin, your tyres are under the legal limit of 1.6mm and therefore, will need replacing.
Getting your engine’s coolant system inspected will guarantee you to save money in the long run, as if you leave it too late and something goes wrong with one of the components, it may take a lot of money to get it repaired. There are many pieces that make up the coolant system, and it all needs to be thoroughly checked, in order for a garage to diagnose a potential issue. The coolant system is made up of the actual coolant, the fan belt, the electric cooling fan, the bypass system, the thermostat, the radiator, the radiator cap, hoses and the water pump. Maintaining the health of your coolant system is a relatively simple procedure, ensuring that it has the correct levels of antifreeze and coolant. However, if you are not sure and for more complex issues, it is best to seek out an experienced garage like Central Autopoint Ltd.
Changing the oil in your car is absolutely essential to prepare for the summer. It’s suggested to use a slightly thicker grade of oil during the summer do avoid the heat from thinning out the oil too much. When you check the owner’s manual of your car, it will have the suggested amount of months or miles before you should change it. It’s most likely to recommend every 6 months or every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. It’s best to do whichever one comes first, meaning you’ll find yourself getting it changed twice a year, in time for the start of winter, and the start of summer.
You can contact Central Autopoint Ltd in Corby, we will answer and questions or queries you may have about keeping your car maintained and ready for the summer. We also provide a number of services to keep your vehicle healthy, including MOTs, servicing and general repairs, including clutch repairs, diamond cut alloy wheel refurbishment, DPF cleaning and auto electrician repairs. You can book or enquire through our website at centralautopoint.com.