Let’s face it, British winters aren’t the time of year to be lingering outdoors, so cars and other outdoor machinery gets neglected. So when we start using them more in the spring the problems suddenly emerge. With the approach of summer weather it’s time to give attention to all outdoor engines.
One benefit of winter rain is that you don’t need your washer fluid very often. When dust starts hitting you in the drier weather, many motorists discover they don’t have any, or the nozzles are blocked, or buckled wiper blades just make everything worse. Driving blind on a motorway with nowhere to pull over is downright dangerous, so change your blades for summer as a matter of routine, refill the bottle and test everything before you need them in earnest.
Still on the subject of water, checking radiator levels is essential before summer weather. The rush to beaches and airports leads to hot traffic tailbacks: make sure you aren’t the cause of one because your engine ran dry and overheated. For tractor drivers and mowing machines there can be a long walk back to base for supplies.
Oil depletes faster in hot months too. Check regularly, and always before and after long trips. Oil warning lights can result from issues other than low oil, but always need checking out – don’t keep driving on red!
Radiator and oil checks should be done with a cold engine, but transmission fluids should be checked when the engine is warm.
Whether it’s a van, car, tractor or petrol trimmer, clogged filters waste fuel and shorten engine life-spans. Cars might manage 12,000 miles on a single filter but machinery driven in dry, dusty conditions needs replacing far more often. There is an excellent range of Briggs and Stratton parts including air filters, tune-up kits, plugs and gaskets at https://diyengineparts.com/.
Low tyre pressures consume more fuel, the car handles worse, and blowouts are more likely.
It’s normal for tyres to leak – it just depends how quickly. A pound per square inch per month is normal, but in warmer weather it drops faster. Check your manual for recommended pressures or consult this guide.
By the way, the pressure written on the side walls of your tyres is their maximum not optimum pressure.