Forget your body – is your car summer ready?

The closer you get to your holiday, the louder that voice in your head becomes. Will everyone there have a six-pack? Should I wear a one-piece swimsuit? Is it socially acceptable for a 40-year old to use armbands? The answers to these questions, of course, are ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘safety never goes out of fashion.’ But if you don’t make sure your car is summer ready, you might have bigger things to worry about.

With that in mind, here’s a checklist for getting your car in shape – and transforming that long journey into a great start to your holiday.

Stay cool

There’s only one thing worse than your air-conditioning failing – your air-conditioning failing when you’re stuck in a traffic jam halfway to Skegness. But while you can’t control the holiday rush, you can make sure your AC is ready to last a full journey. Aside from the obvious risks, high temperatures are linked with cranky behavior – so to avoid a road rage clash with a caravan owner who looks like a giant, angry baby, get it checked before you leave.

Stay cool: part two

If you’re unlucky enough to find yourself driving on one of our four days of sunshine, there’s a real danger of your car overheating. That’s why it’s a good idea to flush and refill your cooling system every 24 months, and check the level, condition and concentration of the coolant more often than that. If not, you’re in danger of recreating that classic scene – grinding to a halt on the motorway, with smoke pouring out of your engine. Not the ideal start.

Protect your engine

Overheating won’t be the only challenge your engine has to overcome this summer. In dusty conditions, it’s vital to replace your air, fuel and PCV filters more often – while hard starts, rough idling, stalling and diminished power can all be an issue too. These problems are trickier to find a DIY solution for, so it’s best to get them checked out by the experts.

Look after your tyres

When it comes to your tyres, you’ve got to tread carefully – especially in summertime. Tyre pressure can fluctuate in higher temperatures, so if you’re taking long journeys, it’s best to check them once every two weeks. Wait till the sun sets and they’ve cooled down, as this will give you a more accurate reflection of their current state, and help you make sure they’re safe.

Check the law

If you’re venturing into Europe, check the driving laws of the countries you’re visiting first. Nobody wants to spend a night in a Belgian prison. For a start, it’s important to be displaying a GB icon – whether that’s on your number plate, or on a sticker attached to your bumper. In France, you need your own breathalyser test kit, while some other countries require you to carry a first-aid kit too.

Once you’ve taken care of all the above, you’re ready for your holiday. But whatever you do – don’t forget your armbands.

For a limited time, we’re offering a Summer Health Check for just £20 at any Citygate Volkswagen dealership. Meanwhile at our ŠKODA dealerships, we’re offering a Summer Travel Check for just £25.


Both offerings include a full visual check, an air conditioning refresh, and a wash and vacuum. Get in touch today to arrange yours.


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