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Automobiles are remarkable vehicles due to the fact that they allow for personal liberty and comfortable travel in addition to having the capacity to travel hundreds of miles on a single tank of gasoline. Having said that, it is essential to keep in mind that there is a possibility that your vehicle will experience some difficulties. For instance, it could abruptly break down just as you are about to leave on a vacation with your family during the summer break from school, or just as you are driving to and from work every day, etc. Any driver will tell you that the last thing they want is to break down, and the fact that summer and winter weather both increase the stakes only adds insult to injury. The good news is that if you perform a few basic inspections on your vehicle, you can prevent many instances of it breaking down. This article will go into detail about how to prevent having a car break down in the summer as well as in the winter.
How to avoid car breakdown in summer
The hot weather of the summer will place a lot more strain on your vehicle than you might be aware of, and the last thing you want is for it to break down unexpectedly on the road in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. Despite the fact that it is not always easy to tell if something is wrong with your vehicle, you should report any strange behavior to your mechanic as soon as possible.
Please perform routine maintenance checks on the following components to decrease the likelihood of experiencing a breakdown: the battery, the tires, the oil level, the water level, the washer fluid, the air filter, and the electrical system. In addition, make it a priority to carry out all of the necessary inspections as quickly and frequently as you possibly can.
1. Check the battery
It’s important to keep an eye on the temperature of your batteries, particularly if they’re older than two years. When purchased brand new, they typically come with a warranty that is either six or twelve months in length. This is excellent news.
If you notice that it is getting more difficult to start your vehicle, this is a good indicator that your battery is beginning to lose its charge. That being the case, if you experience any delays that are out of the ordinary, you should immediately replace the battery (or make an insurance claim, if you have one) in your device.
As a general rule, a battery will not die in the middle of a journey because it is continuously being charged by the alternator. The risk of a battery dying at the beginning of a journey is significantly higher.
A KIND REMINDER: You can extend the life of your battery by making sure not to leave the ignition on (key pressed without the engine running) while you are waiting at a gas station or outside of a store, and by making sure to remember to turn off your lights when you park your vehicle. When you stop the vehicle, you should also make sure that the air conditioner is turned off completely. This is because starting the engine while the air conditioner is on puts additional pressure on the starter.
2. Check tire tread and pressure
To properly maintain your vehicle, giving attention to the tires is one of the top priorities. Therefore, if you choose to disregard the significance of it, you will be forced to face undesirable outcomes. An extremely hazardous situation can arise in the event of a puncture or, even worse, a blow-out.
Make sure you inspect your tires on a regular basis for cracks and irregular wear. The mandatory minimum for the depth of the tread in a vehicle is 2 millimeters, but the recommended minimum is 5 millimeters.
It is recommended that you check the pressure in your tires once a week; this can be done quickly and easily at any gas station in the country. Because the appropriate tire pressures change from vehicle to vehicle, you will need to examine the manual that came with your vehicle in order to get this information. As a guideline of thumb, approximately 33 PSI should be in each.
If you are towing a trailer or if you simply have a heavy load to transport, then you should increase the pressure in each tire by 5 PSI (for more accurate figures, examine the manual that came with your vehicle).
Before setting out on a lengthy journey, you should always check the pressure in your spare tire. Changing a flat tire only to find out that the spare also has a hole in it is one of the most aggravating things that can happen.
3. Check the engine oil level
As we are aware, in order for an engine to function, it requires lubricant. If your oil has not been replaced in a while, it will not be able to perform the function that it was intended to, and the same is true if there is not enough oil in the engine to begin with.
The oil level can be checked with a dip stick, which is standard equipment in most vehicles. Take the dipstick out of the oil and wipe it clear using the rag you have handy. After 5-7 seconds, you should replace the dip-stick and then remove it again. As shown on the dip-stick, the liquid amount should be in the middle of the two different scored lines. In an ideal world, it would be brown in color and reasonably transparent. It is imperative that you get the oil changed as soon as possible at the closest service station if the oil is dark in color, thick in consistency, or contains small pieces of metallic debris.
FRIENDLY REMIND: It is recommended that you replace your oil filter once a year.
4. Check water level
It takes more than just air to keep a vehicle cool; therefore, it is essential that you monitor the water level in your vehicle once every week.
Before you embark on your trip, make sure the engine is cooled down and then remove the radiator cover. Next, fill the radiator with water until the “Max” line is reached. You would be wise to also add proper coolant, which can be purchased at most large gas stations and would be a good addition to the mixture. But if water is the only resource you have, then for the time being it will have to do.
Always pay close attention to the water temperature indicator that is located on the dashboard of your vehicle. The temperature of the water should typically be around 90 degrees Celsius. (although check your manual). If you see the needle beginning to climb or the warning light turning red, you need to pull over and stop the vehicle as soon as possible. Although we do not encourage doing this in the summer, one technique that can help to cool the engine is to turn the heater up to its highest setting.
FRIENDLY REMIND: When the engine is hot, the radiator cover should never be removed! You run the danger of getting burned by water that is boiling.
5. Check washer fluid
Even though refilling your washer bottle won’t decrease the likelihood of your vehicle breaking down, failing to do so is a common but dangerous oversight that can put your safety at risk.
What steps would you take if you discovered that the dirt and filth from a truck that had just passed you had caked all over your windshield? If you are unable to see where you are heading, then things will most likely go from bad to worse.
6. Keep air filter clean
Sand, even in the shape of a microscopic film, can be found in every nook and cranny, as you well know from the experience of living in your own home.
Even more chaos can be caused by it on your vehicle. It is imperative that the engine’s air filter be kept clear in order to fulfill its function of preventing sand from being sucked into the fuel mixture in the engine.
7. Check the electrical system
Before starting out on your journey, you should make sure that your vehicle’s horn, windshield wipers, and all of its internal and exterior lights are in working order. In the event that something breaks down while you’re driving, make sure your toolbox has a few spare fuses and lights. You do not want to waste your precious time at the seashore searching for an auto parts store. While you test the functionality of the brake lights, have someone else remain outside the vehicle. A ticket is not the kind of vacation memento that you will treasure for years to come. Additionally, you should replace the windshield blades. Check to see that the air conditioner is operating at its full capacity, and if the vehicle seems to be moving a bit more slowly than usual, send it in for service. If it is extremely hot where you are traveling, the distance traveled will feel much further.
How to avoid car breakdown in winter
Many motorists dread the winter season because of its unpredictable weather. During the winter months, when temperatures are falling, darkness falling earlier, and visibility being reduced, it is possible to put yourself in harm’s way by stopping on the side of the road. While nothing can replace safe driving habits and a well-stocked emergency kit, you can avoid some worst-case winter scenarios by following these easy car maintenance tips about preventing engine overheating, solving dead battery problem, preventing squealing noise when you start the car, dealing with bald or under-inflated tires, keeping your wipers and windscreen free of ice and checking anti-freeze of cooling system.
1. Prevent engine overheating
When temperatures are lower, the viscosity of motor oil increases, making it more difficult for the oil to circulate throughout your vehicle. This makes it more difficult to keep your vehicle operating smoothly and prevent it from overheating.
How do you stop it from happening? An “multi-viscosity” motor oil will be superior in its ability to adjust to a wide variety of climatic circumstances. If you want to know whether or not you should get your oil changed for the winter, you can either ask your mechanic about it or contact the customer service number for the vehicle manufacturer. They might suggest transitioning to a thinner oil that is designed to be used in colder temperatures.
2. Solve dead battery problem
In the winter, it is more difficult for car batteries to generate a charge, which means that the battery may not be able to produce sufficient energy to start your vehicle when you turn the key.
Before it gets too cold, you should use a voltmeter or multimeter to check the voltage of your battery so that you can prevent this problem. (Or ask your mechanic to take a look when you are getting your car winterized). The voltage range of approximately 12.40 to 12.75 volts is sufficient to guarantee reliable startup. Consider purchasing a battery that is rated for use in cold temperatures if you reside in an area that experiences extreme cold. Keep an eye out for a high CCA count (cold starting amps), which is a measurement of the number of amps the battery is able to generate when the temperature is low.
3. Prevent squealing noise when you start the car
You left your car parked outside all night long. Therefore, when you switch on your engine that will not turn over, you either hear loud squealing, warning lights come on, or steam begins pouring from under the hood in a short amount of time. Any one of these things could be a sign that your radiator has frozen over and fractured, causing you to have to pay for expensive repairs.
To avoid this, park your vehicle inside whenever it is possible. This will assist in preventing the fluids in your engine from freezing and enlarging as a result of the cold. In addition, before winter arrives, you should examine the concentration of the coolant in your vehicle. Antifreeze has its name for a reason. Include it on the pre-winter checklist that your mechanic uses to make sure the measurements are accurate and to prevent it from freezing. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a mixture of antifreeze and water that is composed of equal parts should be sufficient.
4. Deal with bald or under-inflated tires
Make sure to inspect your tires before the onset of winter weather, and keep doing so on a frequent basis once it starts getting cold. Due to the fact that the air pressure can decline by 2 PSI for every 10 degrees that the temperature of the air outside drops, it is essential that they are maintained at the correct level of inflation. During the winter, you should check the pressure in your tires at least once every other time you load up your gas tank by using the air pump at a gas station. (The recommended PSI is generally displayed on a sticker that is affixed to the inside of the door that faces the driver.) It is also essential to check that the traction has not become too worn down. To accomplish this, give this simple strategy a shot: Take a penny and place it in the middle of the tread with Abraham Lincoln’s image facing inward. If you can make out the individual strands of his hair, the tread level is too shallow, and you should consider replacing your tires. If you reside in an area that frequently experiences harsh weather, it is in your best interest to invest in a set of winter tires.
5. Keep your wipers and windscreen free of ice
Because ice, snow, and frost can scratch and crack your windshield, it is essential to maintain your windshield wipers and windshield clear of ice. When you use your windshield wipers, you run the risk of scratching the screen if the blades have become blocked.
When you attempt to remove blades that have become frozen to the screen by using excessive force, the blades run the risk of becoming damaged. Make sure that your windshield blades are in good condition and replace them if they are damaged or worn. If you use anti-freeze, the ice that has formed on the windshield wipers will dissolve, and it will be much simpler for you to scrape the ice off the screen using a scraper. Never use hot water to remove ice from your windshield because doing so poses a risk of cracking it.
In addition to that, you need to purchase cold weather washing fluid, which is designed to work effectively in low temperatures. Normal windshield washing fluid can freeze, and its performance is diminished in colder weather. If you have windshield wipers that are in excellent working order and cold weather washer fluid, your wipers will be able to remove ice, which can cause damage to the glass and reduce your visibility.
6. Check anti-freeze of cooling system
You need to make sure that the components of your vehicle that are intended to withstand the elements are in working order during the cooler months. This includes inspecting the cooling system and ensuring that there is an adequate amount of anti-freeze to prevent the cooling system of your engine from freezing. Repairing an engine that has frozen over or cracked as a result of the weather will set you back hundreds of pounds. The water pump and the radiator of your vehicle are both susceptible to freezing if the weather is particularly chilly. Check the owner’s handbook for your vehicle to determine the kind of anti-freeze that should be purchased for it before going to the store. Additionally, the frequency with which you should replenish the anti-freeze will be specified in the instructions.
The aforementioned strategies can help you avoid a breakdown in your vehicle, which can change a journey from a pleasant daydream into a terrifying reality, regardless of the season.