6 Maintenance Checks for Your Car this Summerby Tracie Johnson Tracie Johnson's Blog
Summer is in full swing which means it's the perfect time to hit the road. You need to prepare whether you are heading off for a day trip, you're planning your family vacation, or you're going on a cross-country adventure. You'll check off items on your to-do list, making sure you have everything you need. Don't forget to make your car a priority before you set out. Pay attention to 6 maintenance checks for your car this summer.
1. Check Your Tires
You're not going to get far if your tires aren't in good shape. Check your tread to make sure you don't have too much wear. Your annual inspection will give you the opportunity to find out if your tires are fit to be on the road. Schedule your inspection before you go on any extended journeys. Make sure your air pressure looks good. As a rule of thumb, safe tire pressure should run between 30 pounds per square inch and 35 pounds per square inch. Carry a few cans of tire sealant in your trunk in case of an emergency.
2. Don't Forget About Your Brakes
Excellent brakes are essential for a safe trip. You know how your brake pedal usually feels when you set your foot on it. If there is more give, it could be time for new brake pads. another warning sign of faulty brakes and rotors includes squeaking or grinding when you apply pressure to the brakes. If the vehicle is taking longer to come to a complete stop while braking, you need to schedule an appointment with your mechanic. In some cases, it may be as simple as cleaning your brake pads to eliminate debris.
3. Keep Your Car Cool During the Hottest Months of the Year
A cool car is a happy car. Lower temperatures aren't only beneficial for passengers. They are important to preserve your vehicle as well. You may think there is nothing you can do when the temperatures skyrocket. Some things are in your control. You can have carbon window tint applied to your windows to stave off the heat and damaging rays from the sun. Otherwise, your paint could become faded over time. When possible, park in shady areas on hot, sunny days. You can also purchase sun shades to place in your front window to keep the sun from blasting your interior. Check your air conditioning at the beginning of the season as well. If it isn't keeping the interior cool, you may need a tune-up. Your auto technician will evaluate your system to determine if there are any leaks, faulty seals, or if it needs refrigerant.
4. Don't Forget to Take Care of Your Windshield Wipers
Windshield wipers are an important accessory that is often overlooked. A typical set should last you anywhere from six months to a year. You may not think they are that essential in the summer. Reconsider the next time a heavy rainstorm hits. Thunderstorms are typical during warm weather. Faulty wipers will keep you from having a clear view of the road. You'll either risk an accident or you will have to delay your travels, pulled over at the side of the road, waiting for the storm to pass.
5. Check Your Oil
Don't rely on your dashboard to ensure your vehicle has a healthy amount of oil. Pop the hood and pull out the dipstick to see if everything looks good. If it doesn't, top off your oil before you head out. Your oil and filter need to be changed regularly. Most auto technicians will recommend you come in every 5,000 miles or so. You may be able to stretch your oil changes to 7,500 intervals. When synthetic oil is used on new vehicles, you could go 15,000 miles before you come in. Get it changed before a long trip for peace of mind.
6. Top Off All Your Fluids
In addition to your oil, make sure all of your car's fluids are good to go. Brake fluid, antifreeze, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield wiper fluid keep your car running smoothly. Your auto technician can check everything to give you the thumbs up before you go anywhere.
You don't want to get stranded in the heat when you're driving in the summer. Commit yourself to take care of your vehicle when the warm weather arrives. Your car doesn't only need TLC in the winter. It needs your attention all year long.
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