Enjoying the Australian Summer often requires taking precaution against the heat, but just like humans, cars need attention to survive the summer sun as well.
Thankfully the advent of modern engine cooling systems means fewer Aussie motorists are stranded by the side of the road filling radiators with water from drink bottles but like anything automotive, regular servicing and pre-trip preparations are essential.
In fact some current vehicles don’t provide an engine temperature gauge, just a warning light which illuminates if the engine gets too hot. So when was the last time you checked the coolant in your car?
Modern systems are best serviced by qualified mechanics who can check for wear in lines and change the coolant if needed – then you just need to regularly inspect the coolant bottle.
Likewise air-conditioning systems should be checked by qualified mechanics before or during summer and definitely if you notice a damp smell when you turn-on the air-con.
Whether the distance of your trip is short or long, children and other back-seat passengers need consideration during summer. Even with tinted windows you should consider alternatives to provide shade when driving for more than one hour. And of course children or the elderly should never be left in the car when parked in the summer sun.
Window shades are a handy purchase to shield the interior of your car when parked at the beach or other locations during summer. Interior plastic and other trim can get very hot so be careful with the youngsters when you return to your car at the end of the day.
Summer sun is also brutal on car paints so consider a wax for your car before it gets too hot. Faded paint is a big negative when it comes to re-sale value.
And of course before any longer trips do the normal pre-trip check of tyre pressures (including the spare), make sure your jack is accessible and operational and check all of your lights are working. Locusts and other insects are plentiful at this time of the year so if you’re heading to the country, top-up your windscreen washer bottle with water and a de-bugger like Bars Bugs.