3 Car Maintenance Tips to Overcome the Summer’s Heat

It’s exciting when summer comes around. Thoughts of fun, sun, and sand dance in our minds, and with vacation time coming along with the season, it’s the perfect time to plan road trips with friends and family.

However, while basking in the sun is a relaxing idea for humans, it isn’t so for a car. The summer heat can be cruel to an automobile, especially since most cars nowadays contain many electrical components that do not respond well to heightened temperatures. As a result, so many cars can be found overheated on the side of the road. Other problems include car air-conditioners breaking down and flat tires. But with the right maintenance, your car can still go despite scorching weather. Here are three tips that can help you keep your vehicle summer-friendly.

Car Maintenance for Summer

Keep the cooling system cool

Your engine’s cooling system is one of the most important things to take care of in the summertime. The temperature under the hood is always several times hotter than the temperature outside, so beware of cracks in the hoses. These can result in coolant (antifreeze) leaks, which drip under the car as greenish fluid.

Lack of coolant results in overheating as the engine has nothing to counterbalance the heat. Be sure to regularly have the coolant fluid level checked by taking a quick trip to your local radiator shop. The right level is between the highest and lowest points. You should also have your coolant flushed and changed every two years by a trusted mechanic.

If you use fan or serpentine belts in your car, you should also check for damage. Replace broken belts with new ones immediately, as they are relatively inexpensive. Even if there’s no damage, replace them every 36,000-48,000 miles to be sure. You should also replace your air filter annually, as they easily get clogged with dust and residue particularly in the summer. And make sure your cooling fan is still in tip-top shape by running the engine (stay parked). The fan should start up after about five minutes. If it doesn’t, have it repaired as soon as possible.

Keep the air-conditioning conditioned

It’s not just your engine that needs to stay cool on a hot day – the people in the car should be comfortable too. Thus, have your air-conditioning system checked regularly, every year or 30,000 miles at a minimum. The system runs on refrigerant gas, 15% of which is used up annually. When the gas levels start dropping, it’s time to have it re-gassed. Check the other parts of the air-conditioning system, particular the rubberized components, to ensure that there are no rips and that they are functioning efficiently.

Keep the tires rolling along

Hot asphalt is bad for tires as it can wear the rubber down more quickly. This results in a higher chance of tires tearing, and even blowing out. Thus, you should be paying attention to your tire pressure levels at least once a month, or prior to a long trip.

Blowouts often occur with underinflated tires. You should also ensure that the treads have not been worn smooth or been separated – this can be extremely dangerous and lead to accidents from slipping on the road. Your tires should be even and perfectly aligned as well.

Have your tires checked every 3,000 miles and replace if necessary to ensure that they keep your car running perfectly.

You can also keep your car looking pretty without needing to wash it all the time (a difficult job in boiling weather) by keeping it covered with a light, breathable fabric. It also has the additional perk of protecting your car from scratches. Make the most out of your summer on the road!

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