10 Summer Car Maintenance Tips
When the weather warms up we all start thinking of hitting the road and going on adventures. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks about car maintenance. Getting stranded on your way to or from a trip can really ruin the fun and can be expensive when you least expect an added expense.
The following ten summer car tips from your Southern California Ford Dealers will help ensure you and your ride are ready for the hot weather. After all, if you pay attention to car care, your vehicle in turn will take care of you.
Check Fluid Levels
When temperatures rise, the fluids in your car become even more essential. Many of them, such as the oil and coolant, help transport heat away from the engine and other components. Dealing with an overheating vehicle is no fun, and it can lead to expensive damage. Check each fluid level is where it should be and top off anything that’s low.
Inflate the Tires
As ambient temperatures change, tire pressure does as well. You should check your tires at least once a month to ensure they’re inflated properly. Driving on underinflated tires wears them out faster. It also increases heat generated by them, which puts you at risk of a blowout. Use the tire inflation numbers from the owner’s manual and stay safe.
Examine the Wipers
Even though it’s summer, the wipers are critical. If you get caught in a storm or need to clear bug splatter off the windshield, you’ll appreciate good wipers. Streaking can indicate the wiper blades need to be changed out. If you don’t see any cracking or splitting in the rubber, try cleaning the blades with a microfiber cloth first.
Air conditioning can be a life saver in the hot weather. If your system doesn’t blow cold anymore, the cause is most likely from a leak. While you can buy leak-sealing products at the store, they might lead to more trouble. Instead, have a qualified mechanic locate the source of the leak and make necessary repairs, then recharge the system.
Clean It Up
Keeping the paint and wheels clean will help protect against damage. Use automotive soap and wheel cleaner, plus a tire shine product. Don’t forget to add a good layer or wax to keep your car looking nice.
Clean It Out
After a long winter, your car’s interior accumulates all kinds of grime. Wiping down the hard surfaces and applying a protectant, vacuuming the seats and floorboards, plus removing any garbage will help manage unpleasant smells. Use an ammonia-free glass cleaner to remove buildup on the inside of the windows, ensuring you can see properly in intense sunlight.
Swap Air Filters
As the weather warms up, it’s a good time to check the engine intake and cabin air filters. They filter out things like pollen, dirt, and other debris in the air, meaning the filters clog up over time. New filters are inexpensive and will ensure optimal operation for the season.
After a hard winter, the engine belts in your car have taken a beating. Before they endure the boiling heat of summer, ensure they’re ready. Examine each belt for cracking or pieces missing. Replace damaged belts immediately, or you might be facing a big repair bill.
Higher temperatures mean more corrosion on battery terminals, so inspect and clean them at the start of the season. While you’re at it, ensure the battery is secured down so it’s not vibrating as you drive, which can cause premature failure.
Even with all your car maintenance items covered, you might still have trouble while on the road. It’s best to be prepared with a proper emergency kit. Bring along plenty of water, non-perishable food, first aid supplies, a flashlight, jumper cables, basic tools, and road flares.
For help with any of these summer maintenance items and more, contact your Southern California Ford Dealers today.