Saturday, May 25

How to Prep your Car for Summer Road Trips to Save Money & Time

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As South Africa steps into the final, warmer stretch of the year, getting your car in shape is as important as we would consider shedding winter’s woollies and kilos for the season. But how do you get your car ready for summer road trips and weekend getaways? Check out these easy tips on preparing your car for the busy summer season ahead.

For home maintenance of your vehicle, a quick search online will give you access to a wide range of products to allow you to keep your car in tip-top shape in-between regular services. To find the best prices on car parts and accessories in South Africa, using a price comparison tool, like PriceCheck is the best way to save money and time when it comes to looking after your car.

PriceCheck tip: An absolute life-saver when you’re on the road is a portable battery jumper. Find the best deals on battery jumpers on PriceCheck.

Check your pollen or cabin filters

Checking, cleaning or replacing pollen or cabin filters are important at this time of year, says Bilaal Darsot of the Car Care Clinic at Johannesburg’s The Square Shopping Centre in Sunninghill. “Get rid of the gunk and freshen up the air that you breathe while driving. Remember, we are in pollen season and with allergies abounding at this time of year, cleaning out the system will ensure your comfort and wellness,” explains Darsot.

Flushing out your car’s radiator

Flushing out your car’s radiator and replacing the anti-freeze with a summer variant will improve your car’s cooling system performance. “We tend to drive more in summer with longer distances travelled when we go on holiday,” Darsot added. “Ensuring that your vehicle’s cooling system performs optimally is important, but it also saves you maintenance and concomitant expenses later on.” When you take good care of your car, it takes better care of your wallet.

PriceCheck tip: Connect your vehicle with smart features thanks to Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatable infotainment systems.

Check oil levels

Checking oil levels regularly is an essential part of day-to-day car care. “It’s like following a balanced diet or taking supplements,” explains Darsot. “Checking your oil levels with mundane regularity must form part of a wellness routine for your vehicle. Do not just rely on service intervals to ensure that you have enough oil in your car.”

Check your brakes

Check your brakes, too. Don’t wait until it grinds warning signs against your discs. Safety should always come first, and it’s the one aspect of maintenance that can never be overlooked. If your brakes don’t work, then you cannot stop! And while we know this, and it’s been an essential aspect of motoring since the genesis of cars, we just don’t do it, or we keep putting off critical checks.

Saving your life or that of others should not come with a price tag. Even though today’s cars are so advanced that they practically drive themselves, the basics are reliant on owner intervention. And, when maintenance requires a deeper dive beneath the bonnet, get your car to a service centre.

PriceCheck tip: Find seat covers and other interior accessories for your car on PriceCheck.

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Don’t consult Dr Google, even for your car!

Be careful of seeking advice online to solve any kind of maintenance challenge with your vehicle. It’s the same principle as consulting Dr Google when you’re ill. It may provide a reasonable set of diagnostic tools or advice, but in the end, a healthcare professional should be your first stop. When it comes to cars, consider caring for your car in the same manner, see a professional.

For the basics, an at-home car maintenance regime can enhance maintenance, be easier on your pocket in the long run, add some longevity to your vehicle’s lifespan and, importantly, keep you safer.

PriceCheck tip: Add a magnetic phone holder in your car to keep your phone safe and in sight, rather than falling under the seat.

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