It has been extremely hot over the last couple of months in South Africa, yes it’s summer but the weather is on another level. We spend weekends experiencing heat waves with our air con/fans on full blast. I love the heat but it can get quite uncomfortable.
As a woman, my car is my mode of transport and as long as it is running as it should I am happy. Right? As uncomfortable as we get, our cars need special care too. Nothing over and above how we should normally be treating our cars, a combination of poor maintenance habits and heat can lead to your vehicle breaking down, forcing you to call for assistance, that’s the last thing you need. However, we should be extra observant as these are not natural conditions for your vehicle to run optimally.
Here are a few tips to look out for – if all else fails then visit your preferred dealer who will assist you.
- Owner’s Manuel – Make sure you are aware of all the scheduled services that your vehicle needs to go through. This is important as part of the general care and maintenance of the vehicle.
- Windscreen – When was the last time you checked your wiper blades? Probably not something you think about. If it’s longer than six months, you need new ones. After six months blades stop working well and could
affect your visibility while driving in the rain which happens out of the blue due to the excessive heat. If you happen to get a stone chip, make sure you head to your nearest dealership to get the chip fixed or the windscreen replaced. The heat will cause the chip to spread which then results in you having to replace the whole windscreen.
- Tyres – You need to always make sure your you check your tyre pressure regularly ( I do it each time I go to a petrol station for fuel – it takes a few seconds). Some modern cars will notify you that your tyre pressure is low, however, rather just get it checked. Tyres should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations printed on the vehicle door placard on the inside of your door panel or in your owner’s manual. Also, your tyre tread needs to be checked. What is tyre tread you may ask? The tread of a tyre is the rubber on its circumference that makes contact with the road or the ground. As tyres are used, the tread is worn off, limiting its effectiveness in providing traction for safe driving. As I said, tyres are a tricky one and very important for safe driving, consult with your preferred dealership for assistance.
- Paint and Interior- The sun and heat can cause seats/the dash etc to crack or fade. Always try and park your car in the shade, even if you have to pay for undercover parking. If you don’t have a covered parking at home use a car cover.
- Air Conditioner – There is nothing better than air con on your car when its hot, however when the temperatures are extreme your air con struggles to keep up with the heat outside as it is not normal circumstances. To help it perform properly, have your filters and air con gas checked.
These are just a few tips I have consulted with my preferred dealership on, from personal experience I would also recommend you keep plan for a possible emergency by keeping a flashlight, jumper cables, paper towels first-aid kit, bottled water, car cellphone charger, and even gum, just in case you find yourself stuck on the side of the road! I had a flat battery over December and was frustrated that I had removed my jumper cables from my boot. You would be surprised as to how few people actually have jumper cables in their vehicles.