13 - Jun -

7 Essential Car Checks for A Summer of Fun

Article written by Bush Tyres Summer Car Checks

The Importance of Summer Car Checks

Summer 2024 may not yet be delivering in terms of the weather, but that hasn’t stopped gatherings of classic car enthusiasts at hundreds of cars and coffee meets up and down the country. This little  time capsule Mk1 Ford Fiesta SuperSport visited our Long Sutton depot a few weeks ago for a summer car check following a long and painstaking restoration.

The full summer car check, included checking the operation of the lights, all fluid levels, battery charge and condition as well as the tyre pressures and visual checks on the suspension and braking systems. You can do these checks yourself using our handy guide below, or you could book into your local branch and let the experts do it for you?

Summer Car Check 1 Tyres

Remember ACT – Air pressure, Condition and Tread.

Air pressure, make sure to account for any additional weight. This is caused by filling the car and/or roof box with luggage. You can find the correct pressures for your vehicle in your vehicle handbook, in the sill of the driver’s door or on the inside of the fuel tank flap.

Condition, if you find any damage or defects, we can check these for you. If you are not sure what to look for, take advantage of our FREE tyre checks and remove any stones lodged in the tread and check for any cuts or bulges. Cracking of the tyre’s sidewall can also indicate the tyre has lost some of its suppleness and may be beyond its safe lifespan. If you see this ‘crazing’ effect or small cracks on the surface, you should also call in for the age to be checked.

Tread, the minimum legal UK tread depth for vehicles under 3.5 tons is 1.6 mm. Once a tyre is down to 2mm it is 94% worn and barely legal. Below 3mm you have a higher risk of an incident as your tyre is 78% worn and will no longer displace water as effectively. Below 4mm we recommend you check your tyres every month to make sure you change them before they drop below 2mm.

If you don’t want to visit and don’t have a tread depth gauge a 20p coin can be used as a guide, insert the coin into the central grooves of your tyre at several points around its circumference. If you can see the border at any point, it might be illegal and should be checked by a professional.

To find out more about the tyre checks which will help you reduce the risks of a tyre-related incident out on the roads, visit tyresafe.org.

Summer Car Check 2 Battery

People don’t realise that hot weather can be harder on your car battery than cold weather! High temperatures build up under the bonnet of your car and accelerates corrosion and reduces battery life. Things to look for, corrosion around the battery terminals and in extreme cases the battery case swelling.  With the most up to date testing equipment we can check the electrical condition of your battery for FREE. Your vehicle’s alternator will also be checked for the correct level of charge.

Summer Car Check 3 Brake Fluid

Bake fluid level and a visual check of the brake pads is also important. Low brake fluid can indicate the brake pads or shoes are getting worn. If you are not sure what to look for, bring your car to us for a FREE brake check.

Summer Car Check 4 Air Conditioning

Air condition service should be carried out every 1 – 2 years. Both the gas pressure and compressor oil levels need to be checked. We offer an Air Conditioning Recharge Service at Bush Tyres – Boston, Bush Tyres – Spalding, Hi-Q – Hull, Endyke Tyres – Hull and Bush Tyres – Norwich, but you can also contact your nearest centre for advice on where to go locally to have your vehicles air conditioning checked.

Summer Car Check 5 Fluid levels

All fluid levels should be checked and where required, filled using the recommended oils, screen wash or coolant. Your engine is under more stress in the summer due to the heat. Make sure your engine oil is at the maximum level and this will protect your engine and help keep it cool. Make sure your coolant bottle is topped up to the maximum mark and not the maximum level the coolant bottle will hold. Hot water expands and the coolant filler bottle acts as an overflow when the coolant fluid expands in the system. Never check coolant level when the engine is hot!

Summer Car Check 6 Air filters

Air Filters get clogged up with dust. The dry weather increases the chances of dust blocking your vehicles air filters. If your engine air filter becomes blocked your vehicle could become less economical or even loose power.

Summer Car Check 6 Windscreen wipers

With this recent wet weather, we have been “enjoying,” this summer wipers have been needed more than usual. Wipers are also important to ensure there are no insects and bugs that will require cleaning off your windscreen while you are driving. Check the condition of your windscreen wipers and always use your screen washers to remove bugs and insects from the windscreen as a dry wiper blade could tear and the metal components in the exposed wiper blade could scratch the windscreen.

Summer Car Check 7 Emergency items

Make sure you have spare bulbs, a reflective vest, fuses, and a reflective roadside triangle. If your vehicles lights fail at night, you could get stuck just for the sake of a couple of light bulbs or a fuse. Day or night, if you are changing a spare wheel on the roadside for example, it is safer to warn oncoming traffic your vehicle is broken down by placing the reflective triangle towards on-coming traffic and wearing a reflective vest/jacket makes sure the on-coming traffic always sees you.

Make sure to stock your car with bottles of water, a charged torch, a first aid kit and sun cream. In an emergency you will be glad you had them in the boot.

As we continue through the summer months and the weather hopefully starts to warm up, it is important that everyone performs these basic car checks on their vehicles and tyres which makes them better prepared for longer journeys.

Stuart Lovatt, (TyreSafe Chair), said: “It only takes a few minutes to perform simple tyre checks that could save you hassle and at worse, a catastrophe. What’s more, driving on correctly inflated tyres on longer journeys could save money on fuel bills and decrease the rate of wear on your tyres.”

MK1 Ford Fiesta

Mk1 Ford Fiesta

Fans of the Ford Fiesta will most likely be familiar with the XR2 or even the RS Turbo, Zetec or ST models. The SuperSport pre-dates all those and shows clearly the “DNA” for the generations of “Fast Fords” that followed. Launched in 1980, this 1981 model has been beautifully restored over the winter period and is now ready to be enjoyed through the summer months.

While the SuperSport wasn’t technically the first “fast Fiesta”, that credit going to the 1300 S from 1978. The SuperSport used the same 1298cc engine generating only 66hp, these days that would not even run a cars AC system. This car only weighed in at 775Kg and 66hp is plenty of fun in a car this size.

What the Fiesta didn’t have in outright performance it gained in looks. This car looks fast just stood still! Wearing its sporting stripes with pride the Fiesta carries off its “go-faster” trims well and somehow avoids looking like it just fell in the parts bin as some cars did around this period. The black rubber arch extensions and window surrounds give it a menacing look finished perfectly with four spoke RS Alloy Wheels wrapped in low profile tyres.

Car Check

Start Your Summer Car Checks

If you are thinking of taking your classic out for the first time since winter? Do you have an airport or longer journey to make in your car? If you would like these basic checks carried out before you go, all our depots have the trained professionals on hand to make sure your journey goes to plan. Visit our website to find your local Bush Tyres depot to arrange your Summer Car Check by clicking on the button below.

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