Time off work, relatives to track down, picnics to be had and beaches to visit; the summer holidays are a great time of year.
If you are reading this on www.enthusiast.com.au then you probably already have an interesting car or two in the garage and holiday time is perfect for wheeling your special vehicle out into the sunlight, dusting it off and heading out to have some fun.
Of course, with summer comes heat and sometimes unwanted consequences. Nothing is harder on a cooling system than being stuck in a holiday traffic jam on a roasting summer day.
In a previous blog we looked at ways to maintain a healthy cooling system so hopefully yours is in healthy condition as summer approaches. How about the lights?
Unless you regularly back your vehicle into parking spots in front of shop windows that reflect the lights you probably have no idea whether your brake lights are working or not. And cars that give the driver behind no warning of an impending stop are just asking to be rear-ended.
It doesn’t rain in summer, does it? No…it buckets down and anyone who has watched a pair of wiper blades disintegrate and leave big scratches across the glass will remember that the first day of summer each year is a good day to change blades.
They aren’t expensive and unless your car is especially unusual your local car-parts outlet will have a pair hanging on the wall. For a few dollars more they will even fit them for you.
Heat hurts tyres and there are two main reasons why an overheated tyre will fail; under-inflation and existing damage.
You might not think the kerb you clipped or the pothole that sent a shudder through the steering wheel did any damage but take a look anyway. Turn the front wheels onto full lock to the left and then right to check the inner edges of wheel rims for dents and the tyre wall for bulges. Look adjacent to any outbreaks of ‘kerb rash’ to make sure the outer walls haven’t been scuffed or cracked. If any of them have, consult a tyre supplier.
Pressures need to be at or slightly above the manufacturer’s recommended levels. Upping the pressure is especially important if you will be carrying a full load of passengers, towing or running for sustained periods at highway speeds.
While checking the tyres, keep hold of the compressed air-line, pop open the bonnet, boot and doors and give the air a noisy squirt. Just to be sure there aren’t any unwanted passengers hiding in crevices and ready to pop out at just the wrong time.
Snakes in particular find warm places to rest under the bonnets of cars and we’ve all seen videos of Mr Blake popping his head out from under the bonnet once the noise and heat become too intense.
A blast of compressed air will shift everything from snakes. mice and spiders from their hiding places so wear protective clothing and have a ‘spotter’ standing back to warn if anything slithery and somewhat annoyed is heading for an unprotected ankle.
Don’t get the nozzle too close to wiring connections though or you might find lights and gauges not working afterwards.
Finally, check the annual distance you nominated when taking out your Enthusiast vehicle insurance. If your plans have changed and the kilometres allocated might not be enough for the distances you are planning to travel, give Enthusiast a call on 1800 10 10 44 and spend a couple of minutes upgrading your cover.