Should you consider seasonal changes when maintaining your car and home? It can actually have an impact…
Here’s how to keep your car and home in optimal condition; and avoid unnecessary breakdowns or damage.
Tips for taking care of your car
Summer temperatures can be taxing on a vehicle that isn’t well prepared for it. Dust build up from the months before can also have a negative effect, contributing towards mechanical failures in vehicles that aren’t well maintained.
Here are things to consider when maintaining your car – keeping in mind the summer months that bring along warmer and wetter weather:
1. Heat and your car’s engine
Car batteries and other engine components don’t take too kindly to excessive heat and even too much vibration. If this happens, internal breakdowns and eventually a complete engine failure can occur.
While you can’t control air temperatures, what can you do to protect your vehicle’s engine – including the battery:
- Routinely check the battery to detect any potential weakness, signs of corrosion or loosened cable connections.
- Check your vehicle’s cooling systems and ensure that they are flushed and refilled periodically to help protect the engine and battery from overheating.
- Check fluid levels such as motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, or power steering fluid in the engine and ensure that they are not low at any point.
- Ensure the battery is securely mounted. This helps to minimise vibration.
- Ensure that terminals and cable clamp connections have not been exposed to corrosion as a result of battery fluid evaporation.
- Check air, fuel and other filters, and replace as needed.
2. Summer weather and your tyres:
Road temperatures increase over summer. If your tyres (including the spare) are under-inflated, they can overheat – this can lead to blowouts which can cause accidents while driving.
Check the pressure of your tyres at least once a month and ensure that you follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure guidelines. It’s best to do this when the tyres are ‘cold’ (i.e. not directly after having driven a long distance) – this helps ensure that the pressure reading is more accurate.
During the rainy season things to check include the tread life, signs of uneven wearing or cupping, as well as cuts and nicks along sidewalls. You should also check that your car jack is in good condition too.
3. Optimal air conditioning
If your vehicle has built-in air conditioning, this needs maintenance too – and not just for your own cooling convenience. Refrigerant levels and cabin filters should be checked and replaced as needed, ensuring that airflow is optimal and that there are no blockages or other problems with the system.
4. Protecting the exterior and interior
The exterior of your vehicle can be damaged by excessive sunlight and UV radiation exposure. To prevent this, regular cleaning and a thorough wax every 6 months can help protect its colour from fading.
Other exterior elements to look after include your vehicle’s windshield, wiper blades, lights and bulbs and the braking system.
You can also better protect the interior against fading, drying and cracking damage due to excessive sun exposure by making use of undercover parking or sunshades.
While there are many things to check when it comes to keeping your vehicle in optimal condition, professionals are at hand to ensure that nothing is missed. If you are a Vitality Drive client you can easily maintain your vehicle with a complete all-round MultiPoint check at any Tiger Wheel & Tyre outlet.
Tips for taking care of your home
Like your car, regular home maintenance can help to prevent the development of long-term issues. Certainly once the summer rains come, it’s all too easy to detect where issues may have cropped up if you’ve gone all winter without keeping an eye on things.
Here are several ways to better protect your home against the kind of repair work that can quickly start adding up:
1. Give outside surfaces a power wash
During the winter, it’s easy to allow dust and dirt to gather on the outer surfaces of your home. Paving, tiling and patio decks can be well cleaned with a high pressure water or hose. Where applicable to surfaces like decks, a good cleaning is best before applying protective coats and varnishes, which help to extend the ‘lifespan’ of your outside areas.
Giving the outside of your windows a good clean is also a good idea – ahead of and during the rainy summer months. By keeping your windows clean and well maintained, you help to prevent the protective seal around them from wearing down too quickly. This reduces the need to replace window glass all that frequently.
2. Clean out those gutters
Make sure to regularly check your gutters and clear any debris that has collected inside. A good time to do this is during the autumn and winter months when leaves and other plants fall and gather. Too much debris causes the gutter system to no longer function as it should. It can also cause rainwater to pool in places that it shouldn’t, such as on the roof which can then lead to water damage to the exterior of the home and potentially the interior too.
While you’re clearing out your gutters, check on the condition of your roof too. Small issues can become more extensive (and expensive) to repair if left unattended. A small fix is easier to manage than having to replace entire sections at a time.
3. Check on your drainage system
By ensuring that water doesn’t pool in areas that can cause damage to the exterior of your home, you can save yourself numerous unnecessary repair costs when the rainy season commences. Clever landscaping – with the use of rocks or even mulch – can be useful in diverting water flow away from your home.
Are you sufficiently insured?
While you’re checking on things and ensuring that your car and home are in tip top condition, it’s well worth glancing through your car and home insurance plans to make sure that you’re still sufficiently covered in every way that you need.
Perhaps your much loved set of wheels is starting “to show signs of age” and could benefit from comprehensive warranty cover. Perhaps you need to update the inventory assessment of your portable possessions since purchasing a new camera or golf clubs.
Periodically checking your plans helps to ensure that your cover is completely up to date, allowing you the opportunity to really savour summer joyrides and spending time with loved one’s outdoors.
Your phone can now talk to us if you can’t
With Discovery Insure’s panic button, your phone can talk to us if you find yourself in danger and need help fast. Press your Android smartphone’s power button at least five times in quick succession to alert us if you find yourself in an emergency situation. We’ll be able to track exactly where your vehicle is and send a response team to help.
Discovery Insure's Impact Alert sends help when you need it most
Wish you had the technology to call for help when you most need it? Discovery Insure’s Impact Alert feature can detect when you’ve been in an accident. If we can’t get hold of you immediately, we’ll send emergency assistance to your location, while our Vehicle panic button can be used to alert emergency services when you’re in your car and need help.
No matter how long ago you started driving, the safety principles always apply. The basics you get taught as a new driver will always be important. Don’t let bad habits form as you become more confident on the road.
As a working mother on-the-move, the last thing Fehmida Osman-Latib needed was to see the light of her car’s fuel gauge flashing at her. Luckily, Discovery Insure was on hand to help get her moving again.
As a parent, we’re sure you already know how much your kids can distract you – be it during a serious conversation with your bestie, or while you’re hastily trying to wrap up making dinner. The most dangerous of these distractions, however, is while you’re driving.