Summer Car Care Tips
By: Good2GoPublished: July 13, 2016
Ah, summer…the three months widely anticipated throughout all the other seasons. Who can resist the allure of blooming trees, sweet lemonade, and fireflies twinkling at dusk? The time for nice weather and vacation planning is here, which means it’s a good time to check our cars before we hit the road on any adventures.
There are a few routine maintenance jobs you can do yourself to make sure your vehicle is ready to sustain long drives in the heat. Avoid any possible issues by keeping in mind a few key factors in running your car during the summer.
Keep Tires Inflated
Since extreme heat can easily affect tire pressure, it’s important to always make sure you’re checking your tire pressure frequently. When tire pressure is low, you are more vulnerable to a blow-out. Most gas stations offer free or inexpensive air to pump your tires, and you can find the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) information usually on a sticker inside the driver’s door or in the manual. Tires typically lose 1 PSI every month – and don’t forget to check your spare tire occasionally, too.
Keep Fluid Levels in Check
Some fluids you should check often include coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, and motor oil. Motor oil is responsible for cooling parts of the engine and protecting it through various temperatures. Since older motor oil may not work as effectively, it’s important to check your oil level frequently and schedule an oil change before any long trips.
Wash Your Car
Winter is harsh on a vehicle’s exterior. If you live in a place where it snows often, it’s likely you’ve driven on roads that have been salted. While this certainly helps us drive more safely, salt and other grime from the road can erode a car’s paint and even affect a car’s undercarriage. Summer is the best time to detail a car since there will (hopefully) be no snow and your hard work will last longer.
Check the Battery
Testing your car battery can help avoid any type of failure if you’re far away from home. Keep in mind several safety precautions when checking your battery, since they contain sulfuric acid and hydrogen-oxygen gases which are both hazardous and may cause burns or an explosion. Refer to your manual and review all safety instructions before testing. Also, be sure to check for any corrosion of the battery, which can happen if you don’t drive your car regularly. Corrosion will usually appear in the form of a white, ashy deposit around the battery posts.
Test your AC System
There are few things worse than being stuck in a hot car on a long trip. Before embarking on any adventures, test your air conditioning to make sure it still blows cold. If there are any strange noises or smells, the system may need cleaning, have a leak, or need to be changed. Although adding refrigerant can solve the problem temporarily, you will most likely need to invest in a professional repair.
Pack an Emergency Roadside Assistance Kit
In the unfortunate event that something unexpected should occur while traveling, having a roadside assistance kit could be the difference between moving forward and having to go back home. It could be anything from a flat tire, to a dead battery, or mechanical failure. Although you can easily purchase a prepackaged car emergency kit at a store or online, you can save money and customize your own by buying a few items to pack into a homemade kit. A few items you might want to consider adding to your kit might be:
- Waterproof matches
- Signal flares
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
- Cell phone charger
- Pocket knife
- Bottled water and snacks
- Other items you might find useful if you were stranded
Summer is fun for us but the heat can be harsh on our cars. Keep up with car maintenance to make sure your plans aren’t ruined by car troubles. Once your car is summer-ready, make sure your insurance is up to date. To make things easier for you, Good2Go can help provide minimum coverage auto insurance that fits your needs and your budget. Don’t delay – get affordable car insurance for as little as $20 down. Receive your free quote today!