Summer has arrived, temperatures are sky-rocketing, and your car hasn’t been serviced in months. You know what you need to do to prepare your vehicle for winter driving. Now you’re asking yourself, do I need to do anything to protect my car during the summer heat?
The answer is yes! Depending on where you get your car maintenance advice; a manual, your local dealership, trade magazines, etc. They all have great advice for keeping your car healthy through the summer months. We’ve compiled a general list for you. Not in a particular order, they are all important to your vehicles lifespan.
**Check with your manufacturer if they require specific seasonal maintenance as well.
Wipers: Unexpected showers (and expected), off -roading in the mud, driving through over zealous sprinklers, all good reasons to have good wipers in the summer!
Brakes: Summer time brings extra pollen and dirt in the air! If you brakes are acting weird, it could be as simple as a cleaning. However, make sure to get them checked in case the issue is more extreme. Here are some examples of when to get them checked:
- Your brake pedal becomes very soft and mushy
- Your brake pedal is very hard and resistant
- Your brake pedal rests too low or too high
- Indication or warning lights on the dashboard
- Loud and constant scraping and grinding sounds coming from the brakes
Also make sure to have your brake fluid checked. In the winter time water can get into your fluid which creates ice crystals. Come summer time if the levels are not correct they can boil or char which then can clog any number of parts of the brake system.
Coolant System: Sitting in traffic in hot weather is a good way to have your car over heat in the summer if your coolant levels are not filled properly. Well-tuned cooling systems can take long idles in hot weather, however if your vehicle has low coolant levels or a busted fan belt, your engine temperature is going to go up!
AC Check: If you live in a state where extreme heat is an issue, this is a must! Have your mechanic look for leaks that may not have been noticeable over the winter due to lack of use.
Battery: Have your battery tested. Most dealerships and auto supply stores will check this for you. The summer heat creates a loss of fluid which creates oxidizing. No one wants to be stranded in the summer heat with a dead battery!
Tires: Summer weather makes the air inside your tires expand, putting them at greater risk for a blowout. Avoid over- or underinflating your tires by checking the pressure regularly. Adjust the pressure according to the specifications listed on the sticker on the driver’s side door jamb. Tire pressure changes with the rising temperatures — approximately one to two PSI (pounds per square inch) for every 10-degree increase in outside air temperature
Tread matters, too. Check the tread by putting a penny into the tire’s grooves with the Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires. Remember to check the pressure and tread of your spare tire as well, so that you won’t be stranded on the side of the road while everyone else is heading to the mountains or the beach.
And of course, ALWAYS keep an emergency kit in your vehicle regardless of the season.