WITH summer upon us, now is a good time to get your car in tip-top condition.

Pick a day and set aside some time to give your car a really thorough clean to get rid of all the grime which has built up over the winter.

Keeping your engine in good working order can extend the life of your car and reduce the overall costs – and start by checking the fluid level weekly and keeping an eye on your oil and water levels.

And it is important to make sure your motor is regularly serviced so why not make that appointment right now. Getting into good habits can prevent difficulties occurring later on.

Check that windows, lamps and mirrors are clean every time you drive. It only takes a couple of minutes but that improved visibility could be crucial.

Examine the bodywork for signs of rust including the underside and the wheel arches. It is worth spending a few moments doing this, because any mud left will hold water, providing ideal conditions for rust to form.

If you do find some rust, do not ignore it – it will only get worse.

Take action immediately. Either tackle it yourself using some of the excellent rust control, filler products and paints available today, or book it in to your local car workshop.

After all that hard work cleaning the car it is tempting to skimp on the polish – but do not because a good covering of wax not only transforms the car it also protects it against the climate and makes your next clean much easier.

And you must not forget to fill those windscreen jets so you will not be struggling to see those roads ahead.

Of course, the best way to make sure your car is in the best possible condition is to take it to a garage and let the experts have a proper look.

Taking the time and trouble now could save you energy – and money – in the long run.