03 September 2019
5 tips for your car check up when return from your holidays
Rather than “return stress”, the danger for your car is “holiday stress”
We are all a bit more relaxed after a holiday. The one who probably did not get any rest at all is your car! In fact, if you used it to go on holiday to a seaside location, you exposed it to wear, sand, salt and a whole series of external agents that are an integral part of the seaside environment. Before getting back into your daily routine, think about your faithful means of transportation and its constant commitment to accompanying you throughout the week: it would be best to arrange a check up to assess the conditions of the car when you return from your holidays!
The importance of a careful end-of-summer cleaning
We are usually very careful about preparing our car before leaving for our holidays, but we do not give it the same care on our return. During the trip, the car inevitably gets dirty, inside and out, with dirt, dust and leaves that can work their way into the fabrics. To maintain them in excellent condition, they need to be cleaned with a specific product and a sanitiser should be used. In particular, sand is one of your car's worst enemies: with the slightest breeze, it can invade the mechanical parts, the passenger's compartment and other internal components. The filtering elements should also be checked and replaced, if necessary. Therefore, in order to eliminate the sand and salt residue, a careful cleaning must be carried out on the car body, the gaskets, the engine and the wheels, including the brakes.
Regular maintenance is the key to prolonging the life of your car and not neglecting its health, even when returning from your holidays.
The tyres wear too
The engine and body are not the only components under stress. The damaging effects of the sea can also have an impact on the tyres: sand and salt attack the tyres, making a visual inspection necessary, followed by regular cleaning to prevent deterioration. After travelling a lot of kilometres, a check-up of tyre wear is also advisable. Tyres tend to wear more easily due to the hotter asphalt, especially if they are not high quality. A bumpy road surface can also damage tyre tread; if you notice something out of the ordinary, do not hesitate to see your local tyre specialist.
Salt has corrosive effects
The sea air is salty and sand and water are also obviously full of salt: the corrosive effects of these elements can damage the body and other components of the car. A preventive treatment of the body reduces deterioration, but with humidity, salt crystals can form anywhere, even in the engine compartment. Therefore, in addition to the precautions taken prior to departure, a careful cleaning of the vehicle is also advisable once you have returned from your holidays in order to eliminate most of the salt residues. And don't forget that there is also salt on your clothing and bathing suits, so the upholstery might be affected (something to bear in mind even before getting back into your car).
The underbody should also not be neglected. This is an area that accumulates sea salt, creating residues which, in the long run, corrode the metal parts irreparably. It is best to carefully wash this component and remove the salt, also because the suspension system and other delicate elements are in this part of the car.
Watch out for the sun
Just as you protect your skin from exposure to the sun, you should also remember to protect your car from the effects of direct sunlight. In fact, the sun and high temperatures are a problem for the body: the paint and the plastic parts collect insects and tree sap in the summer that contain organic particles which can become corrosive in the scorching heat of the sun, with an irreversible impact on the paint. The prolonged heat also poses a risk of fading and tarnishing the body through the layer of exhaust fumes, chemical dust and acidity of the rain that deposits on the car.
What precautions can you take? First of all, try to park in the shade, in a sheltered area or use sun shades to limit exposure to the sun as much as possible. Wash the car regularly (at least once a month) to eliminate organic residues from the paint and glass. And don't forget treatment with specific products: after washing, you can apply a sealing wax that slows the corrosive process of the paint, whereas creamy or gel or balsam based products should be applied on the dashboard, plastic parts and leather upholstery to keep them soft.
Check oil and filters
To conclude, a check up on the brakes, oil and filters is a fundamental measure you should take to ensure that the car is in the best possible condition for the upcoming fall season. In particular, checking the brake fluid can protect discs, pads, calipers and the entire braking system. Humid environments are not good for brake fluid degradation, especially due to its hygroscopicity, in other words, the tendency to absorb humidity and thereby favour the vapour lock effect. Therefore, topping up or changing the brake fluid is important, carefully following the manufacturer's specifications, before the lubricating action begins to deteriorate with consequent wear of brakes, discs and pads.
Where should you have your car checked when you return from your holidays?
So, “holiday stress” can be a problem for wear and tear on your car. Are you ready to carry out the necessary check up when you return from your holidays?
Entrust your car to the Brembo Expert network! You will find made-to-measure assistance and the best maintenance tips for your car.
The key points to remember:
- do not hesitate to carry out a preventive treatment
- if possible, clean the car regularly during your holidays
- upon your return, remember to carry out a thorough cleaning.