With summer comes sun, fun and increased driving, which may take a toll on your vehicle! To better prepare you for summer on the road, we present our top 5 summer car care tips from your Steve’s Auto Repair Staff!
Since we live in an area that our summer months can reach over 100 degrees, there are a few things to consider. These tips could save you time, and prevent costly breakdowns that could leave you on the side of the road.
Summer Car Care Tips
Check the tire pressure
Tire pressure is important at all times. It’s critical to have properly inflated tires, as this assures the best possible contact between the tire and the road. Especially if you’re doing lots of high-speed driving on a summer-vacation road trip. Properly inflated tires will also last longer and improve gas mileage. Also, an improperly inflated tire can heat excessively, potentially leading to a blow-out on the highway.
Inspect the belts and hoses
The belts and hoses in modern cars last a long time. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have the potential to fail. Before summer begins, have the belts and hoses inspected on your vehicle. And if you’re not sure when they were last replaced, consider having them changed, especially before commencing a long road trip.
Inspect the wipers and wiper fluid
Visibility is always important and our experience tells us that summer storms can be quite severe in some parts of the country. The life expectancy of a wiper blade is six month to one year. If your car’s blades are dried out and not making full contact with the windshield, replace them.
Check the battery
A battery gives little warning before it goes dead. And it’ll likely do so when you least expect it. Hot weather can put additional strain on a battery similar to what is experienced in cold weather. If your vehicle battery is more than three years old, have it tested at a certified automotive repair facility. Also, make sure the posts and connections are free of corrosion. If you’re embarking on a long trip, consider replacing the battery if you don’t know how old it is. These days, batteries are not very expensive, and it’s cheap insurance when you’re out on the open road. We also recommend that you always carry jumper cables, as mentioned below in the emergency kit section.
Check coolant/antifreeze mixture
The ideal mixture of coolant and water inside your vehicle’s radiator is 50/50. If the mixture deviates from this norm, then hot-weather performance (and cold) can be compromised. If you were to put pure water in your vehicle’s radiator, it would boil at 212° Fahrenheit. But if you combine the water with an equal amount of antifreeze, the new mixture boils at a much higher temperature. You can check the composition of a radiator’s mixture by using an antifreeze tester. You can find these at all auto parts stores, and they are inexpensive and easy to use. If the mixture’s balance is off, adjust it by adding either coolant or water.
Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.