Summer Car Care
The warmer months can present some challenges to vehicle maintenance. There are things you can do to help keep your vehicle in good shape during these hot months. Summer car care will keep your vehicle running smoothly through summer, and prepare it for winter.
First part of summer care car is keeping cool. Keeping cool is important, not only for ourselves but also for our vehicles. You want to make sure that the level of coolant fluid is where it should be. Take the extra step and check the ware of the hoses and the coolant reservoir. Always watch for leaks, especially at joints and connection points, like where a hose connects to the engine block. Occasionally, when the engine is cool, squeeze the hoses to make sure they feel firms and not excessively squishy.
Usually there is a serpentine belt. It runs between the alternator, the fan and several other components. This belt can become loose, deteriorate, start to squeal, and just break for no apparent reason sometimes. It needs to be in good condition and at the right amount of tension. If you notice small pieces missing or you see cracks in the best, it is time to replace the belt.
I know, I know, it is summer. Why are we talking about wipers? It doesn’t seem that wipers fit in on the summer care care list, but they do. Because it is going to rain at some point you want to be prepared. If you stay ready you don’t have to get ready. Imagine your windshield is dirty, so you put on the wipers and squirt the wipe fluid to clean it. If you wipers are worn it creates nasty streaks across the windshield. So, while you are attempting to clean the window, it makes it worse and can affect your vision while driving. Wipers are an inexpensive investment and replacing them isn’t a difficult task, but if you aren’t familiar with doing it, the operation can be a bit of a struggle. If you feel more comfortable having a professional install them, next time you get an oil change, ask the dealership about purchasing wipers and having them installed.
Other Essential Fluids
Oil, brake, power-steering and windshield washer fluids, never stop being used. You need to be sure to check these fluids regularly.
Staying on the subject of brakes, how are yours feeling? Are they lacking in bite? Feel a bit spongy? If yes, you might need new pads and a system bleed. This type of service is something you should have your mechanic or dealership take care of.
Summer demands air-conditioning. You may have been able to deal with an AC that hasn’t been working because it was cooler, but now that summer is here you have got to get it fixed. Older systems leak Freon, which isn’t good for the atmosphere. You can find a variety of leak-sealing products and refrigerant rechargers at places like Walmart. If there isn’t enough refrigerant in the system that means there is a leak. Have this fixed by a mechanic, before you have to pay to have the AC system recharged.
Decomposing leaves can clog up windshield-washer nozzles or your vehicle’s air filter. It is a good time to purchase a new one or take out the current one and clean it. Modern vehicles also have pollen filters or cabin filtration systems, so don’t forget to keep an eye on those also. These cabin filters can be changed by yourself pretty easily, but if you are not sure of how to do it, consult a technician.
I mean, tires are something that need to be checked all year round, but it makes this list because of how important it is. All four tires should be in good condition, pressure must be correct (read the manual to find out where to find that information), treads should be free of stones, stray nails and things of that nature. Good condition means no uneven wear, no cracks and plenty of tread depth. Because summer is a time when people take road trips, you want to make sure that your tires are up for it. It is a good idea to have a can of Fix-A-Flat in the case that you need to change a tire. It will get you at least to a spot where you can change it more comfortably. Also, make sure that the spare is always in a usable condition. This summer car care tip will assure that your tires are in good shape for the wet roads that winter will bring.
A small and inexpensive investment to keep your vehicle a little cooler when you are not driving in it a dashboard sunshade. It protects the dashboard from ultraviolet rays. Some sunshades even have solar panels to keep the battery charged. You might want to consider shares for the rear side window too. They provide some protection for the back seat passengers. Sunshades also help prevent the rear seats and dashboard from fading over time.
Clean the Car
Those long, balmy evenings when the sun is a huge, orange orb hanging low in a pinky-blue sky sound blissful. But they can also be a hazard, especially when your car’s windshield is dirty. Even from the inside, that haze will diffuse the light and make things hard to see. That grime has a tendency to build up over a long period, so we don’t really notice it. Things look much sharper after your car has had a good wash, though. Keeping the exterior clean also protects the paintwork from the sun’s rays, as well as any damage caused by birds and insects. Finish off the cleaning with a good-quality wax. Car care makes financial sense in the long run.
By keeping up with these summer car care tips, your vehicle will have a great summer and be ready for winter.