Seasonal Car Maintenance: Car Care Tips for Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall
Your car goes through an incredible ordeal. As the seasons change and as weather can alter quickly between warm and sunny to cold and wet, it’s always a good idea to keep your vehicle prepared and ready. Don’t worry if you’ve not already considered how to prepare your car for the seasons ahead! This comprehensive guide offers you all the tips you need to help you hit the road in all weathers.
Preparing Your Car for Winter
Headinginto June, the temperatures in the southern hemisphere are always set to drop. Therefore, winter is likely to be the one season which motorists perhaps need to prepare for the most. It’s, therefore, a great idea to look into ways to prepare your car forthat cold snap. With winter motoring, prevention is far more worthwhile than any cure. However, it can’t help to stock up on some winter car essentials in case you find yourself in a fix.
- Prepare a breakdown kit. Yes –this does mean stocking up on precautions and provisions! Make sure you stock up with the following:
- Grips for boots and shoes
- Emergency contact device (a spare mobile phone, perhaps)
- Highly visible clothing and fluorescent vests
- Spades or shovels for digging
- Food supplies
- Screen wash
- A physical map and breakdown cover documents/details
- Always prepare your battery for cold months ahead. Your car’s battery is its beating heart. That means that in winter, it’s likely to be under additional strain. You’ll be using your lights and onboard heating regularly – which means it’s going to be working overtime. Always get your battery serviced.
- In general, a pre-winter service for your car is always a good idea. Consult local experts or garages to ensure you are fighting fit for the cold snap.
- Check and clean your lights – we can’t stress this enough! Thick snow and reduced light mean one thing – greater dependency on your front and rear beams.
- Check your tyres, too. Snowy and icy conditions are going to mean you rely upon the treads of your tyres more than ever. It’s a matter of safety – why not change to a specialist winter option?
- Checking your breakdown cover is essential, too. As discussed in our first step, it makes sense to have all your relevant insurance documents with you in case the worst ever occurs. What’s more, make sure you’re completely covered!
- Prepare your windscreen and wipers by cleaning them thoroughly.
This is just a list of the essentials. If you have any concerns about the conditions of roads ahead, be as prepared as possible and take regular stops. Above all, be careful – many accidents happen in winter due to reckless abandon, which means common sense is always going to be key from June through August.
Preparing Your Car for Spring
With winter out of the way, it’s time to get back onto dry roads again. However, with temperatures yet to soar to their full potential, it’s still worth remembering that there are a few things to prepare for once spring rolls around. Here’s our pick of top tips to prepare your car for more clement weather and roads ahead.
- Firstly, it’s time to inspect and swap out your tyres. Winter tyres are specifically designed for the wear and tear expected in cold and icy conditions. What’s more, significant wear, of course, means it’s time to swap out.
- Fill up your car. We don’t just mean fuel – we mean fluids. Your windscreen wipers will be working overtime during winter. Therefore, it’s time to get topped up again.
- On a similar note, always check your wipers ahead of spring arriving, for reasons as stated above. They do a lot more for your car in wintertime than you may assume!
- Wash your car. Washing and cleaning your vehicle during winter just isn’t feasible. Therefore, by the time spring hits, you’re going to need to scrub down to prevent rust and to get rid of all that pesky built-up grime. It’s also worth cleaning the inside of your car well.
- Check your brakes. This is very important – brake fluid can come under severe stress during winter drives, meaning it’s worth filling up and checking that everything is free from debris and good to go once more.
- Check your battery. Once again, your battery works awfully hard. It will have had a tense winter – do make sure it is replaced or serviced wherever possible.
- In fact – opt for a full service if you’re unsure about taking to the roads right away. A professional will be able to help you bounce back from winter journeying.
Preparing Your Car for Summer
You may not think that you need to do much to prepare your car for the warmer months. However, this type of seasonal vehicle care is just as crucial as the others we’ve covered thus far. Summer brings with it intense heat and a whole new set of potential issues for your car to get through. Therefore, as always, common sense is vital.
- The warmer months are going to bring forward the need for you to start using the onboard fan. Therefore, it’s worth checking that your cooling fan and cooling system are both working at an optimal standard.
- Once again, check your battery! In summer, it will have a whole new set of problems to contend with, which means it is worth making sure it’s ready to power air conditioning and cooling standards. You’ll likely be winding your windows down and making use of the A/C.
- Windows, therefore, should be your next check. Are they opening and closing properly? Are they safe to use? They’re going to be getting plenty of work in summer – so don’t discount checking them over.
- Tyres, once more, will need changing. Treads on summer tyres are much different in composition to previous seasonal standards. What’s more, if you’re likely to head to rough terrain on holiday or other areas which were out-of-bounds in colder months, you may want to get some tough rubber installed.
- Keep your oil and water levels topped up and prepare for liquid depletion.
- Summer driving is, on average, less careful than driving in other months. Therefore, keep common sense in mind – but be mindful of your suspension, your wheels and more. Keep a jack and brace handy, and make sure they work.
- Check your wiper blades, your washer fluid and your lights. You’ll need them just as much in summer, believe it or not!
Preparing Your Car for Autumn / Fall
Lastly, it’s time to think about the autumn or the fall. Most autumn tips for car owners will likely revolve around preparing for winter. That is largely because temperatures seriously drop in the latter two seasons. It will be worthwhile looking into readying for winter as soon as you start to see the leaves fall – fortune favours the prepared.
- It’s time to turn off the A/C and the cooling systems and to start using the onboard heater. Therefore, once again – make sure your battery is well-serviced.
- It’s worth looking closely at your tyres ahead of time, too. Autumn months can mean wet weather and decreased grip, which means you’re going to need to swap out your summer treads.
- Check and clean your lights. Autumn/fall means that the nights will be drawing in earlier than you’re accustomed to, which means relying upon your beams more than ever.
- Keep topped up on all fluids. From fuel to water, oil and brake fluid, with the cold starting to drift in, you will need to start preparing for increased demand on your supply.
- Make sure your car is in top condition to traverse colder weather and the months to come. That may mean you need to take your vehicle in for a complete service. In any case, we feel servicing your car regularly from season to season is always a prudent idea.
- Check your wipers. While you may be a few months away from snow, it makes sense to make sure that your car is ready to tackle general downpours of rain.
- It is worth considering what you’ll need to check for winter – and there’s no better time to start getting prepared than during autumn.
Running a car all year round can be tricky when the weather is always changing.
What may work for you in summer certainly won’t work well in winter! You may already know a thing or two about preparing for the cold snap –but what about for the drier months?In this guide, we will look at ways in which you can prepare your car from season to season. Which tyres should you be using during spring and summer? What provisions will winter demand? Let’s take a closer look at the best preparations.
Other general advice we’d offer throughout the year is to be vigilant at all times and to exercise common sense. Reckless driving at any time of year is never recommended, but a lack of care taken on the road in autumn and winter could be particularly disastrous for you as a driver, your car and for other road users – as well as passengers. Don’t ever leave anything to chance.
While preparing your car for the seasons ahead can be painstaking, you should never worry about financing a vehicle. If you need help and advice with funding a new car for the year ahead, Auto Car Loans can help. Call 1300 301 051 or contact us directly here.