When you plan to spend the day outside in the summer heat, you probably take a few minutes to get prepared with water, sunscreen, a hat or umbrella, or other items to protect you from the sun. Well, your car needs some TLC in the summer too, because it doesn’t particularly love the effects of extreme heat either. During the next few months, pay attention to the following items and get your car checked out if you notice any problems:
- Tire pressure: Tires expand when exposed to heat. Additionally, you’re driving on a lot of hot surfaces such as asphalt, and although your tires are durable, they will respond to these forces. Heat can degrade rubber and over-inflated tires creates unequal wear and tear, causing earlier replacements at best and dangerous blowouts while you’re driving at worst. You can buy a tire pressure gauge and check your tires yourself, check your tires each time you fill up at the gas station, or bring your car into us for a quick routine check.
- Air conditioning: Because you’re running your A/C probably every day right now, it can start to take a toll on your car’s performance. You may need to replace your cabin air filter to keep the air flow clean and clear. If you notice the air isn’t coming out quite as crisp as it used to or the air quality seems to be suffering, it won’t just magically start getting better. Get it into a mechanic so you don’t have to drive around without A/C all summer and to make sure nothing bigger goes wrong.
- Fluid levels: You hydrate with water; your car hydrates with coolant. Coolant helps to keep the engine cool and helps prevent overheating. You’ll also want to make sure your oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and windshield wiper fluid is topped off as well. Evaporation is natural and is enhanced during the scorching months, and you don’t want to find yourself overheated in the middle of nowhere. If you don’t know how to check your fluids, it’s okay—bring your car to us and we’ll ensure you’re taken care of.
- Battery life: Heat can accelerate the corrosion of your batter, which will shorten its life. We can clean up the corrosive buildup and tighten the clamps to make sure the connections are solid. You’re also running the A/C a lot more in the summer, causing a lot of strain on the battery due to an increased load on the fans. The higher temperatures overall are taxing on an electrical system of a car, so you’ll want to have a mechanic check it out and make sure it’s in good shape.
- Belts/Hose health: About 20% of vehicles have belts that need to be replaced. In the summer, belts and hoses are at risk for cracking and breaking down. You’ll want to trust the belts and hoses to an experienced mechanic because they are vital to the function of your car.
When you’re packing up for a day in the sun, don’t forget that your car needs some of that proactive care too. Come see us today.