10 Easy Summer Car Care Tips
It’s summertime once again! You might have a lot of plans already. It could be a beach vacation, road trip, or outdoor barbecue.
But before heading to your favorite destination, make sure that your car is in its best shape. This is to prevent car breakdowns on the way.
The rising temperature brought by the summer season can take a toll on your car. The ever-changing temperature transitions from fall, winter, and spring can gravely affect essential car parts.
Problems occur most especially if you do not do seasonal car maintenance. Seasonal car checking and maintenance can lengthen your car’s life span and resale value.
Let’s talk about the most important things to check before you fuel up your vehicle for your next trip. You do not necessarily need to bring your car to the servicing shop if you know the basics.
Do a thorough inspection and maintenance of your car using the list below:
Check the Fluids
Monitor the levels of your radiator fluid by looking at the bottle. You can see right through it most of the time. If you see that it needs topping off, and then you can do so.
Use a 50:50 mixture of water and antifreeze. Replace the fluid every 2 years. The radiator keeps your engine cool so make sure to do this step.
You may also refill the washer solvent and check the hoses while under your car. If you see stains on the hoses, there are probably some leaks and you need to replace them.
Check the Air Conditioning
Do not be blown away by your mechanic’s sales talk. As long as the AC is blowing cool air, it will work just fine.
Otherwise, check if the heater control is working. If it is stuck, then it should be replaced. AC refrigerant needs to be refilled every year. If it still does not work, make them test the AC using pressure gauges.
AC systems need to be checked by professional technicians if the above steps do not work. Heating and cooling systems have a cabin air filter than sifts the air from the outside. Make sure that you replace the air filter regularly.
Air filter and cabin air filter make sure that clean air enters the engine and the interior. Choosing the reusable or washable filters to save money and also get better filtration.
Having clean filters can benefit the performance and fuel economy of your car and your respiratory health. It prevents pollens and odors from the outside from entering the air cooling and heating systems.
Check the Engine
Check the condition of your vehicle’s engine. If you find it dusty, consider replacing the PCV, air or fuel filters. If you notice that there are problems with regards to its performance, such as rough idling, hard starts, reduced power, or stalling, bring it right away to a car repair shop.
Change the Oil and Oil Filter
The vehicle’s manual states the recommended frequency of oil and oil filter replacement. But if you are hauling heavy stuff, going on long trips, or driving daily, you should replace oil and oil filters every 3000 miles.
Summer temperature prefers heavier oil. But it also depends on the type of vehicle. Older vehicles fare well with heavier oils than newer models. Conduct research before switching the oil.
Replace the Lights
Check all of the bulbs and lights. If you find broken ones, replace them immediately. You can also clean the lenses because insects and dirt could be stuck on them. Use a dry cloth to prevent abrasion.
Replace the Wipers
Having a clean windshield keeps you safe and maintains road visibility. Replace the wipers if they are worn out and refill washer solvent.
Inspect the Brakes
Check the car manual for when to check the brakes. Bring it to the repair shop if you notice grabbing, pulsations, longer stopping distance, and noises.
Check the Tires
It is recommended to rotate the tires every 5000 miles. Check the tire pressure before driving the vehicle because heat can affect the tire pressure reading. It is recommended to check tire pressure every month.
Inspect the tires from uneven wearing, tread life, cuts, cracks, and cupping. Ask the mechanic if an alignment is needed. Aside from the tires on the wheels, you should also check the spare tire and the jack if both are in good condition.
You may also consider changing your tires to summer tires. Wider wheels are recommended for summer while skinnier ones are great for winter.
Pack an Emergency Kit
No one knows when you will need it and it is better to have it unused than not to have one at all. Bring some basic emergency necessities in your vehicle at all times. Some examples are flares, flashlights, and first aid kit.
Check the Battery
You will never know when the car battery will fail. As a normal routine, remove corrosion from the connectors and re-tighten them. You can also check the battery fluid levels but do it cautiously.
Usually, batteries die due to extreme heat than in the cold. Get the car battery checked if it is already three years.
Following these simple steps can make your summer getaway a hassle-free one.
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