How to prepare your car for summer

20th June 2024
Russell Campbell

Winter's gone, the days are getting long, and the sun's out, which can mean only one thing – it's time to prepare your car for summer. But what exactly does that entail? Funny you should ask. We’ve teamed up with eBay to put together a comprehensive guide to getting your car ready for the summer of your dreams using millions of parts and accessories from brands you can trust. Here are our top tips.   

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What better way to start than getting your pride and joy lathered up and waxed for the summer driving season? Washing your car is a great way to inspect it up close, with the added bonus that it should look its best at the end of the process.

Lovingly sponging down your steed is a great way to reveal surface corrosion and paint defects you overlook at a distance so you can sort out any problems before they worsen. For a proper job, it makes sense to clay down the paintwork, remove the invisible contaminants that make your paint feel gritty, and seal your excellent work with a wax coating.

Our handy car cleaning guide gives you all the details you need to deep clean your car.


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Give it a mechanical inspection

You don't have to be handy with a spanner to check that your car is mechanically tip-top, but this guide is designed to help you through every process to help you keep your car in good health. You might even find it’s easier than you thought.

Ensuring your car has the correct amount of clean oil is an excellent place to start, but it's even more important in summer when the high temperatures can cause even more damage to a poorly lubricated engine. Remember to order all the kit you need, not just the fresh oil but also an oil filter, the tool you'll need to remove the old one, and fresh gaskets for the oil pan. You don't want to start the job only to be stuck halfway with an immobile car because you don't have what you need to finish the job.

Shop vehicle oils and fluids.

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Keep your car and yourself cool

Everyone likes to keep cool during summer, and your car is no different. It's worth checking your car has plenty of coolant at the start of summer, top-ups are easy to do, and anything more significant could indicate you have a leak that'll need attending to. It's also worth checking the quality of your coolant with a test strip – bad-quality coolant will leave your car at risk of overheating. Finally, check your coolant hoses. They can perish over time, particularly in the summer months, which could lead to loss of coolant and overheating.

Keeping yourself cool is equally as important. If there's one thing you want working in summer, it's your air conditioning. If your vents' ability to produce cold air seems feeble – or is completely non-existent – chances are you need a quick, easy, and relatively affordable regas. Using your air conditioner is the best way to ensure it continues to work correctly, so it pays to keep the system in tip-top condition.

Shop vehicle air conditioning regas.

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Check your rubber

You may switch from winter to summer tyres as spring draws close, but it's worth visually inspecting your tyres even if you don't. Check for bulges and cuts that could cause a dangerous blowout, and check that the tread on your tyres is wearing evenly; if it isn't, that could indicate another problem with your suspension.

Finally, check the age of the tyres – it's a four-digit number on the sidewall; the first two digits denote the week in the year the tyres were made, and the second two digits denote the year. You should replace tyres that are more than ten years old.

Lastly, check your spare tyre. The last thing you want is to get a puncture only to discover your spare tyre won't hold air. No spare? Then invest in some tyre sealant; this stuff is famously hit-and-miss, so it makes sense to pack a couple of cans to give you a better chance of making a temporary repair that will last long enough to get you to the nearest tyre fitter.

Shop tyres.

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Keep a clean screen

If your wipers have just endured a tough winter, the likelihood is they're wearing out; smearing and excessive noise are two telltale signs. New wipers will cope better with sporadic use, cutting through road grime that may have built up over several weeks of (if we're lucky) dusty, dry weather – you don't want to be caught in a sudden downpour only to realise your wipers don't work.

Shop window wipers and washers. 

Make emergency provisions

It's worth packing provisions you’ll need for emergencies if you get trapped in your car in the beating sun – being stuck on a motorway that's ground to a halt is not fun at the best times, and the typical summer holiday traffic can cause some pretty severe congestion. So, it makes sense to keep a couple of bottles of water in the car, as well as suntan lotion and a basic first aid kit.

Jump leads are another useful consideration, especially if you're the proud owner of a 'temperamental' classic, and a reflective triangle is another prudent purchase you'll appreciate when the four-wheel love in your life gives up the ghost.

It’s best to keep everything you’re likely to need packed neatly in your boot, and there are plenty of storage options available to suit your car.

Shop car storage and organisers.

Visit the eBay Garage at FOS to immerse yourself in the world of vehicle parts and accessories and put your skills to the test for a chance to win some exclusive merch!


Images courtesy of Getty Images.


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