While most of us love summer weather, the past few we have experienced in Melbourne have been particularly hot. Scorching heatwaves with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees is enough to leave anyone feeling exhausted!

While we manage our way through these periods seeking out swimming pools, ice creams and air conditioning, our cars are put under additional strain. High ambient temperatures can affect your car in many different ways, from damaging paintwork, to leaving you stranded on the side of the road.

This article looks at some of the common faults as a result of high ambient temperatures, and how we can reduce the chances of it happening to you this summer.

1) Engine Cooling System

Most prestige vehicles are filled with long life coolant, which does not require regular flushing. The plastic fittings and rubber hoses however, are prone to leaks. A small trace of coolant build up around these fittings is a clear indication of future leaks. In extreme temperatures, these small trace leaks can become a major leak, causing your engine to overheat.

Have your service centre perform a cooling system pressure check and visual inspection. This can detect leakages, and repairing them before they become a serious issue will not just save you money, but also prevent you being stranded on the side of the road on a hot day!

2) Battery and vehicle electronics

Vehicles are now heavily reliant on electronics. Various computers, sensors and  actuators perform everything from unlocking your door, to keeping the engine’s emissions in check. All these systems require stable battery voltage. A failing crank sensor or overcharging alternator will leave you with a car that either does not start, or enter a failsafe mode which we call ‘limp mode’. Imagine you are on a road trip, and your car doesn’t accelerate normally, go over 50kph or shift out of first gear!

A diagnostic test, along with a battery and alternator output check, can alert us to future problems. Next time you get your car serviced, ensure your mechanic is capable and performs these checks on your car, and lets you know the results.

While both these items require a skilled technician to perform, you can still keep an eye on a few important things this summer.

3) Paintwork / Interior protection

It isn’t always possible to keep your car away from direct sunlight, and we all obviously seek out undercover parking whenever possible. UV not only damages paint, it can also deform or harden interior trims. Plastic switches can become brittle and fall apart in normal use.

Bird droppings when baked on in the sun can permanently damage paint, so get it off as fast as possible. Regular washing and polishing is normally enough, you don’t need to purchase expensive paint protection packages! If you are spending the summer by the beach, keep in mind that salt water in the air damages your car much faster, so wash it more frequently!

4) Tyres

Everyone knows they should check their tyre pressures, but few actually do! Keeping correct inflation increases tyre life, and prevents irregular wear. Next time you have a look at the tread level on your tyres, have a close look at the inner edges. Cars with low profile tyres are susceptible to inner edge wear caused by under inflation or incorrect alignment. Tyre tread often wears right through the steel belts on the inner edge and separates from the casing, leading to a blowout.

Check your pressures when cold. The pressure difference will be dramatically different if they are checked after the car has been driven for a while and at full operating temperature. Check your tyre placard for the manufacturers specifications, normally located on the fuel filler flap. You might have to get on your hands and knees to check the inner edges of your tyres for wear, or turn your steering to its full lock position to get an even better look!

Ammstar Autohaus specialise in your Mercedes-Benz Service, BMW Service, Audi Service and Volkswagen Service. Our workshop has some of the latest equipment that helps us identify and repair all kinds of complex issues, including the ones mentioned in this article.

If your car hasn’t been serviced in a while, don’t put it off till the end of the year. A pre summer service or check over at Ammstar Autohaus may just make your summer more enjoyable!

Call us today on 03 9585 1676 or book online at ammstarautohaus.com.au