It’s taken its time, but it finally feels like the clouds have lifted, the rain is leaving and summer is well on its way.
This is fantastic news for those of us – which is to say, nearly all of us – who much prefer the warmer months to the seasons of cold, dark and damp. It’s also good news for those who struggle to take care of their vehicle and adapt their driving style to the seasons. That’s because it’s much easier to drive safely and efficiently when it’s warm versus when everything is wet and gloomy.
Autumn and winter can feel gloomy, but if you fail to take the proper precautions when you take your car out and about, those seasons can actually be downright dangerous.
From black ice, to snowbanks, to fog and heavy rain, it’s fair to say that for many of us, driving has been more, shall we say, adventurous than it necessarily should be for the past few months. Back in December, we advised you on how to take care of your car during that time by, for example, upgrading your tyres.
Now that it’s May, we can see the sun again here in South Wales and it’s about time to start thinking about what preparations and precautions should be taken for summer.
Granted, you don’t need to take nearly the same amount of action now. When the weather is fine, conditions are pretty much optimum for driving. This is good news!
However it’s important not to be too complacent, and also to remember to undo whatever refitting procedures you may have carried out in preparation for winter. That means you should switch your winter tyres out for summer ones to improve your fuel efficiency.
You should also take the opportunity to clean the underside of the car. The grit that’s used to melt snow in winter can stick to the chassis, and as a result your engine and transmission may run hotter as heat is less able to dissipate into the air. Simply taking a hose to the underside should make a difference.
While you’re carrying out all this work on your car, it’s a good idea to do a general all-over check. Ensure all your fluid levels are fine – engine oil, windscreen washer fluid, coolant – as well as tyre pressure and brake lining. You may be glad you did!
It’s sometimes recommended that you should take particular care of your tyres, as in some parts of the world it’s not unheard of for them to melt on hot asphalt. Suffice to say, this is unlikely to occur in Cardiff or Swansea this summer, but all the same, it’s not a bad idea to be hypersensitive to the possibility of your car engine overheating.
So with a little preparation and forethought, it’s not too difficult to make sure your journeys by car this summer are enjoyable and above all, safe.