Summer Car Maintenance
The summer heat is in full swing, but that shouldn’t prevent you from making sure your car is well taken care of. From the A/C to the engine, your car will need some help in making sure you beat the heat!
The number one thing you probably want working in the summer is car’s A/C. An easy way to make sure it’s good to go is to bring your car in for a checkup. If the A/C in your car has not been working well or you have an older vehicle, look into either refrigerant rechargers or leak-sealing products, if your car cannot retain the refrigerant. Thankfully, these products can be found in a lot of places, such as Walmart, and they have easy-to-follow instructions. If a leak persists, seeking a mechanic to help is your best bet.
Though the coolant system may not actually keep you cool, it keeps your car from overheating. In the summer, when temperatures are at the highest, the coolant is critical in making sure overheating is not an issue. Luckily, this is easy to check up on. Pop up the hood of your car and check your coolant reservoir; if low, refilling it up to the level indicated can be very helpful for your car.
Also, check the hoses where the coolant flows and squeeze them to make sure they are firm and not squishy, in which case replacing them is a must.
Keep an eye out for coolant leaks, which typically shows as a green liquid. Coolant leaks most commonly occur at the hoses’ joints and connection points.
You can beat the heat before you even get back in the car with a dashboard sunshade. Finding a cover that goes on the windshield will protect the dashboard against ultraviolet rays and can help your car stay a bit cooler while parked. When looking for parking, look for a shaded spot, even if it’s a small tree extending over. Any shade can make a difference.
Along with hot temperatures, the summer season also may be accompanied by storms. To drive safely in a storm, ensure that your view will not be obstructed by checking your windshield wipers. If they are not working properly, fortunately, wipers are very affordable, and, although they can be tedious to replace, this can be done all by yourself.
Temperatures change in the summer and so do your tires. Hot air can cause your tires to expand and have a greater risk of a blowout. Check your tire pressure regularly to prevent this from happening. If it’s low, you can stop at a gas station, as many offer a free-to-use air station for your tires. However, be careful not over inflate the tires, which could be dangerous as well.
To be even more prepared, you can even check the tire pressure of your spare in case of a flat tire. It might also be a good idea to check the tread of your tires as well; the friction with the ground can cause your tires to wear down over time. A quick method to check on this is to put a penny upside-down in the grooves of the tires. If you can see Abraham Lincoln, then you need new tires.
Though these are all great tips to help you beat the heat with your car maintenance, there are still a multitude of other factors to consider when keeping your car running, such as your engine belts, oil levels, and air filters. These may not be influenced directly by the heat, but making sure all aspects of your car are taken care of during summer temperatures is very important. For further information, check out these resources.