Summer is just around the corner. Heat and humidity can put a lot of stress on your vehicle during the hot sweltering months. It’s always a great idea to get your vehicle a good checkup before any road trip. Especially in the Summer and Winter months. You are looking forward to getting away to relax and have some fun. The last thing that you want to do is break down along the side of the road in the sweltering heat. Get your vehicle ready for summer with these car care tips.
Some of the following tips are easy to do yourself. Others you’ll want to consult a skilled auto technician.
There is nothing more important than being comfortable in your vehicle on a sweltering summer day. So, if your air conditioning isn’t blowing cold, or isn’t blowing well at all. You’ll want to have your A/C system examined by a qualified technician. They will ensure your system is working right. Also, newer vehicles have cabin air filters to clean the air coming into the heating and A/C system. If these become clogged, then it can put more stress on your climate control system. Your comfort isn’t the only thing that matters though. Your vehicle needs to stay cool as well.
The greatest cause of vehicle breakdowns over the summer is from vehicles overheating. Your vehicles cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled every 24 months. It is important to have the coolant level, and condition checked periodically. Especially before Hot and Cold months when your vehicle is under a lot more stress. Consult your owner’s manual for your vehicle. Most vehicles call for a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water. If you decide to check your own antifreeze. Make sure to NEVER remove the radiator cap until your vehicle is completely cooled down.
Changing your engine oil on time is the most important thing you can do to extend the life of your vehicle. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual and follow the schedule set by the manufacturer. It is important to have your engine oil changed before you travel. Especially if you make frequent short trips, or longer trips hauling luggage, or you tow a trailer. By taking the time to start a trip with fresh oil, you can help your vehicle run a lot smoother on the road.
Springtime brings with it a lot of pollen. Also, the dry and dusty summer months can clog filters that can rob your engine of performance. You’ll want to check and replace Air, fuel, and PCV filters more often if you drive in dusty or dirty conditions. If you neglect these items then you can end up with: Hard starts, rough idling, stalling, and diminished power. If you aren’t sure how to check these filters yourself. Visit a knowledgeable qualified technician.
A dirty windshield can be dangerous. Not only does it cause eye fatigue. It can also be a safety hazard in bright sun, or downpours from thunderstorms. Replace worn out blades and make sure your windshield washer reservoir is full.
Having lights burnt out on the outside of your vehicle is a safety hazard for not only you and your family. But also for other people on the road. Walk around and inspect all the lights and bulbs. Replace burnt out bulbs as soon as possible. It’s also important to clean off dirt and dead insects from the lenses. Be sure to never use a dry rag as you could scratch the lens surface.
One of the biggest safety features of your vehicle is your tires. Failure to maintain them can lead to putting your family in danger. Have your tires rotated every 5,000 miles to ensure even tread wear. Also check tire pressures at least once a month. You’ll want to do this when they’re cold to get an accurate reading. Don’t forget to check your spare tire as well. It is also important to check the tires for tread depth, uneven wearing, and cupping. Ensure the sidewalks don’t have cuts or nicks. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, you’ll want to visit a repair facility. Your vehicle may need an alignment if there is uneven tread wear, or your vehicle pulls to one side.
The other big safety feature is your braking system. It is always a good idea to have your brakes examined by a qualified repair facility before a long road trip. Also, if you notice: pulsating, grabbing, noises, or it takes a longer distance to stop. then bring your vehicle into a repair shop for a brake inspection.
Vehicle batteries can fail at any time of the year. But especially when it gets cold or hot outside. This is due to increased stress from your vehicle working harder. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. You can also check to ensure the battery posts, and cable connections are free of corrosion. Make sure all the connections are tight and secure. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves when working with the battery. If you don’t feel comfortable handling maintenance of your battery. Have a qualified mechanic handle it for you.
Enjoy the Open Road!
By taking the time to ensure your vehicle is ready for a hot summer, and long road trips. You can have the peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is one less thing to worry about when you’re on vacation.
Stop by or call to schedule an appointment to have your vehicle checked out for summer.
We offer a FREE Multi-point inspection so you aren’t surprised by vehicle repairs. We’ll provide you with a checklist of our findings, and provide advice if any auto repairs are needed.
At Hampden Automotive, you’ll never pay more than your estimate. Don’t wait till the last minute before a trip. Schedule an appointment today!