Car Maintenance Tips

Summer Maintenance Tips

South Australia enjoys beautiful summer weather, but the rising temperatures can be scorching at times and our cars don’t always cope. To prevent a breakdown and avoid being stuck on the side of the road, consider these tips.

Understand the signs

  • Pull over immediately if you detect a burning smell or see steam or smoke coming from the engine. If you don’t, you run the risk of permanently damaging your engine and it could end up costing you a lot more than an annoying delay on the side of the road.
  • Remember to check your instruments regularly, and stop immediately if the gauge shows an unusual reading – very high or very low.

Electrical system

• The main causes of heat related breakdowns are failures of the cooling and electrical systems. The stress put on the electrical system, especially the battery, can be hard to predict. Luckily, all RAA Road Service patrols carry RAA Batteries, and will deliver and fit them for members at no extra cost by simply phoning 13 11 11.

Cooling system

  • Look at the hoses and drive belts for cracks, wear and tear.
  • When the engine is cold, check the level and condition of the coolant.
  • Externally look for at the radiator core for insects and other blockages and clean them out by hosing down. Don’t attempt to brush the core, as the fragile cooling fins could be damaged.
  • Don’t ever try to drive in an overheated car as you risk damaging the engine. If you can’t find the problem, let the car completely cool down, check the coolant level and either have the car checked at the nearest service station, or call for RAA Road Service on 13 11 11.

Air Conditioning

  • Make sure your air-conditioning is working efficiently. If in doubt, have it checked by a qualified professional. The most important benefit of effective air-conditioning is that it reduces driver fatigue, keeping the driver alert, refreshed and more comfortable.

Click here to download RAA's fact sheet on preparing your car for a driving holiday.

More Motoring & Road Safety Information