It’s the summer time and most likely it’s HOT depending where you’re located. The heat takes its toll on the engine as well as many of the other important parts of the car. Whether you are taking that long weekend getaway or driving to work, you need to maintain your wheels to ensure the longevity of the car and to avoid costly repairs. With that said, let’s make sure your ride is driving to the best of its ability.
Here are the summer car care tips:
Make sure that you check your tires for the proper air pressure. If you don’t have a tire pressure gauge, I would recommend getting one. (Only costs a few dollars at your local auto store or even at your local convenience store) Making sure that you have the correct tire pressure will ensure that you will get the best gas mileage and wear on your tires.You are also less likely to get blow outs with properly inflated tires.
Check the treads and any signs of abnormal wear of your tires. Visually check your tires, if the treads are bald meaning that the tires are pretty smooth or flat then you will need to replace your tires. Flat spots, loose treads, cracking, or anything that looks like it should not be that way are some signs that you probably need new tires.
Make sure that your oil, coolant, brake fluid are at their appropriate functioning levels. If any of these fluids are below where they should be, there could be many problems down the road. Be sure to check your dip stick to see if your oil is at suitable level, because the engine’s life can be compromised easily. Check the radiator and overflow unit that the coolant is at the correct level; a big warning sign that there might be a problem is a very low coolant level. The brake fluid is just as important, if the fluid is low, there might be a leak, something that could affect your ability to stop. check that the brake fluid is properly maintained. Make sure you check your owner’s manual for proper type of fluid for each car.
3) OIL CHANGE
Let’s get serious. Are you changing the oil in your car as often as you should be? If you don’t remember the last time you change your oil, then it’s about time to get an oil change done. Whether you are a Mister or Miss Fix-It or you bring it to a dealership, auto shop, or oil change shop, it’s time to get off your butt and change your oil. Be sure to change your oil and oil filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or every 3 months, obviously depending on your usage.
4) AIR FILTER
The air filter is very important as well. If your engine can’t breathe, how will your vehicle drive and get you where you need to go? You can drastically improve your gas mileage and performance with a simple switch of a new air filter. Usually you are supposed to change your air filter every 12,000 miles. Many people often overlook the air filter and often wonder why their engine isn’t functioning as well.
5) HOSES AND BELTS
Open up your hood, some like to call it the bonnet, and do a visual check at the belts and hoses. Start by checking out the belts that drive your engine. Keep an eye out with the engine off, for a loose belt (tug on the belt to see it moves a lot), check if the belt has cracks in it, and see if the teeth or grooves are broken. Also, make sure that you identify the hoses. Visually check the hoses, if you see any cracks or discoloration. If you just turned off your engine, the hoses might be hot. I personally feel the hoses to see if they are flexible and not hard. The older the car, the more likely that the belts and hoses will needed to be changed. Many people like to change their belts and hoses when they reach around 100,000 miles to ensure that they are not running into any potential risks. If the belts/hoses crack or break, you will easily overheat your engine and be easily stranded.
6) AIR CONDITIONING UNIT
Is your AC unit working properly and still blowing cold? Maybe it’s a good time to get that checked, it can get pretty unbearable and downright uncomfortable with no air conditioning. No one wants to be that guy or girl who has to drive people around with no ac and then having to explain it. Save yourself the trouble!
When was the last time you replaced your wipers? Snow, ice, salt, sun, and dirt can easily deteriorate the rubber or silicon of your wipers. When you notice your window doesn’t seem to get cleaned when you put on those wipers, this is your sign to replace the wipers!. This will ensure that you will have the chance to break with a safe distance and be able to see safely what is around you.
Can’t stop easily, noisy when stopping, brake pedal feels soft or mushy. It might be time to get new brakes or get them checked out by a specialist. If your brakes are worn out, you could easily get into an accident and cause some serious injury. Please be sure to get them checked and replace if necessary.
Get a AAA card or some kind of roadside assistance service. Believe me, this can be the biggest lifesaver. You never know when something can happen on the highway and not have anyone for miles to help you. Being apart of a roadside assistance provides you with a service that is able to get help 24 hours a day/365 days a year. The worst feeling would be not having any one to call and not getting help for hours. A few dollars a month can help you with a big potential headache in the future!
10) RENT A CAR
If you plan to go on a long trip, maybe a good idea would be to rent a car. Put the miles on someone else’s car instead of your own and save the abuse. Most rental car companies have the latest and greatest smaller cars that get great gas mileage savings. If you are driving a big car, an older vehicle, or just want to keep the abuse off your own car, this is a great way to have stress free vacation!
If you are not a Mister/Miss Fix-It, bring your car to an auto specialist to ensure that your car is running at its full potential. I hate seeing people on the side of the road, or even worse in an accident. Make sure your prepare and take the necessary precautions. Hope these tips help! Enjoy your summer and most of all be safe!