Summer is here and while it might be time to enjoy a cross-country road trip, a day at the beach, or a late night looking at stars from the back of your pickup truck, this is GO TIME! for your car. Heat, direct sunlight, severe weather and more can all combine to present a direct threat to your car, in more ways than one.
Since it’s always in the best interest of safety and your budget to prevent car problems before they start, we’ll look at some tips from the experts on the best ways to keep your car’s engine running well and the exterior looking great all summer long.
1. Get a Summer Check Up
There are certain components of your car’s engine that require a little bit of extra maintenance during hot weather, so it’s best to make sure that these are in good shape before the summer heat sets in. Schedule an appointment with your mechanic as soon as you can.
Summer heat can affect your battery, and cause the battery fluid to evaporate, which will eventually cause it to stop working. If you’re due for a new battery you should just go ahead and do that at the beginning of the season. Otherwise just make sure that your mechanic tests it as part of this summer maintenance. If your battery is the type that needs to have distilled water added, ask your mechanic when and how to do this correctly.
Your cooling system is critical to your car’s performance at all times of the year, but even more so during the summer. Ask your mechanic to flush the cooling system and replace the fluid, as well as to check hoses and seals, and replace those that appear worn or cracked.
If any of your car’s engine components needs replacing, you may be able to find some at a used auto parts lot and either have them installed for you or do it yourself to save some money.
2. Take Care of Your Tires
During the summer and hot weather your car’s tires can really take a beating. Not only can this limit the life of the tire but it can increase your risk of a dangerous blowout. During your car’s pre-summer checkout ask your mechanic to rotate your car’s tires, which you should be doing every six months anyway. The mechanic can also check for signs of wear that could indicate that you need to replace your tires altogether.
Hot weather causes your tires’ pressure to expand, so it’s very important to check the pressure in the morning when the temperatures are cooler and the tires have not been in contact with hot pavement. Follow your manufacturer’s guidelines and keep your tire’s filled to the proper pressure level. Not only will this prevent unsafe rises in pressure but it will also improve your gas mileage.
3. Consider the Outside of Your Car Too
Your car’s exterior can suffer the effects of hot weather, so it’s smart to take some steps to ensure that the outside is in good shape, just like the engine.
Be sure to wash your car regularly, since warm weather also brings more tree sap, bird droppings, and other debris that is not only unsightly, but can also damage your paint. Consider taking your car to a professional detailing service for a deep clean and wax, which can help mitigate some of the damaging effects of summer.
Change your windshield wiper blades at the start of the summer season, as well. Summertime thunderstorms can be violent, and without a clear windshield you could be putting yourself and other drivers at risk. You can also treat your windshield with a silicone product to repel water, which doubles the efforts of your wipers.
During summer, the season of road trips, family outings, and more, your car’s performance needs to match the demands. Schedule a visit with your mechanic, make sure your tire pressure is always correct, and keep the exterior as clean as you can. You’ll have a great summer on the road and your car will be happier, which can also save you money down the road.