Hot auto tips for warmer weather
You may think you have an exceptionally reliable car, however vehicles don't stay that way on their own. As with any piece of equipment or machinery, maintain and care for your vehicle and it will generally return the favour.
Weather is heating up - so is your car!
If you have a minor problem with your vehicle now, there’s a much higher probability that it will develop into something more in warmer temperatures.
A car engine usually operates at around 95°C, depending on the make and model. When that same vehicle is loaded with your family, friends and camping gear, and is crawling its way up a steep hill in 30°C plus heat (if we're that lucky!), then this will be the time that problems may occur, so let's tackle vehicle maintenance beforehand and prevent a breakdown.
Simple checks to keep you safe, saving you time and money:
Consider a pre-trip inspection by an MTA technician; repairs can be more costly on the road. Ask them to check things like the air conditioning, cooling system, drive belts, hoses and clamps, brakes, along with the fundamentals like fluids, oil and water. High temperatures can also be hard on your battery – get it checked to ensure your car will last the distance.
- Check the condition and air pressure in all tyres, including the spare, to make sure they are roadworthy. Remember, heat is a tyre’s biggest enemy.
- Replace ragged wiper blades, and make sure the wash reservoir tank is full and you’ve added proper cleaning agents – not dishwashing liquid.
- Check all your lights are working. With longer daylight hours you may not use your lights very much, so that blown bulb can go unnoticed – until you need it.
- Make sure your sun visors are doing the job; glare from the sun, either directly or from other vehicles, can blind you temporarily.
- If you are towing, ensure your towbar and braking capability is up to the load you are hauling. Because of the strain towing can place on your car, it’s vital your cooling and lubrication systems are in top condition.
Do you have an emergency kit?
In warmer weather many New Zealanders take off into the back and beyond, to escape the hustle and bustle, enjoying our incredible scenery. This could mean your car tackles gravel roads and beach terrain - there may not be too many passers-by and what happens if your cell phone won't work? An emergency kit is a very useful thing to have.
- jumper cables
- a jack and wheel-brace
- water for both the radiator and yourself (around two litres)
- blanket and towel
- emergency reflectors.
Warmer weather and busier roads equals greater stress for you and your car. Be aware of the risks, drive to the conditions, exercise patience and everyone can be a little safer on the roads