Regardless of the time of the year, you should prepare your car for the road. Sometimes we tend to neglect the warmer months and instead prepare only for the cold winter. What coolant should you use during winter months, when is the best time to change your tyres? Here are some care tips, applicable to Australia.
Car Maintenance tips for the Australian Winter months
When heading into June and July, the coldest months in Australia, preparing for the cold weather beforehand is a good idea. The winter weather brings shorter days, fogs and sometimes even frost, and it is of utmost importance to always keep your windows clean when visibility is limited.
Acquiring new wiper blades for your vehicle for both the front windscreen and the rear window is essential to making sure you have better visibility when driving. Furthermore, in case you are parking outside, make sure you raise the wiper blades if it is freezing or snowing outside, this would prevent them from breaking when you turn them back on.
Some people like to use DIY cleaning kits or clean their windscreens with hot water, forget that during colder winter months, as glass might crack under pressure. If you need to quickly remove frost or snow, use warm water from the tap or a wiper instead.
Having changed your tyres a few weeks before winter actually arriving in Australia is a great idea not only for safety but for fuel economy as well.
Check your front lights and signals, fog can be a dangerous thing. Also, make sure to thoroughly clean them. A great way to check your reversing lamps that not everyone knows is putting your car in reverse and turning the engine off while switching the ignition on, this way you would be able to walk out of the car and check the backlights. Check your car’s battery since it dies quicker during the cold winter months.
Ensure that your air-conditioning system is operational and can be used to demist the windows of your car. Warm temperatures inside during the winter months can cause your windshield to get misty and your wiper blades cannot help you there.
Do not get fooled by late winter, if the temperatures rise for a bit. Never switch to summer tires preemptively and be prepared for last bits of snow.
It is also a good idea to have a shovel in your trunk and some spare blankets.
Car Maintenance tips for the Australian Autumn
When the summer months end we are often misled by the remaining green leaves on the trees that the cold weather is far away. Autumn is a good time to check your engine coolant before going into the winter months. Changing it on a regular basis might actually allow you to avoid a few engine repairs along the way.
When Autumn comes, it is a good idea to check on all the fluids in your car from engine oil to water and brake fluid.
If you live in the colder parts of Australia, in Melbourne, for example, there might be some frosty mornings even though you are far from winter. Make sure to check on whether your tyres have sufficient tread to deal with the extra rain of even frost during cold weather in some mornings.
People generally prepare their cars for Winter and neglect the other seasons, forgetting that the temperature differences are a lot bigger in Autumn and Spring. Significant temperature swings can cause your fuel to condensate in your vehicle’s fuel tank and can affect your car’s overall performance. This is the ideal time to let a professional check on your car.
Car Maintenance tips for the Australian Spring
If Winter is over, you see the full sun outside and are eager to hop on the roads, check the weather forecast for the next few weeks and if the temperatures are high change your tyres. Driving with your cold-weather tyres is not a big deal, with your main concern being a higher fuel cost.
Unless you are heading for a colder place or a mountain, changing the tyres of your vehicle should happen around the beginning of the Spring season.
Much like Autumn, Spring is a great time to check on all the fluids of your car. Furthermore, a quick inspection of your battery is of great importance, since it works extra hard during the cold Winter.
If you have not driven your car during the entire cold season, make sure you visit a professional to inspect it closely.
Car Maintenance Tips for the Summer
During the warmer months, the engine of your car would need some extra cooling, aside from checking on the coolant again, ensure that your cooling fan and system is in working order. Top your water and oil levels since they get depleted faster in the warmer months.
If you did not change your tyres during Spring, not changing them during Summer is an awful idea. Summer tyres have different treads and are overall composed of harder materials that do not soften down due to heat. Driving with cold-weather tyres during the Summer is dangerous as your stopping distance would increase greatly.
Do a quick check on your A/C as well since you do not want to embark on a long journey and melt in the hot weather in your car. As you are naturally going to achieve greater speeds during this season, check your brakes and your belts and hoses.
Another idea is to check the date on your car battery, which usually lasts on average up to 5 years. Moreover, your alternator should be inspected every once in a while, the summer is a good time for that since the colder months can cause some damage to it.
Regularly checking on your car’s safety systems, brakes, windscreen integrity, air-conditioning, tyres, batteries and car fluids is essential during all seasons. Your oil should be changed every 10,000 kilometres and your you should always drive with the appropriate gear for the season. Always stay alert and responsible on the roads. And safe travels.