How to Get Your Car Ready for the Summer Heat

When temperatures start to rise, you know it’s time to get your car ready for the summer heat. The warmer weather can increase the risk of your car overheating or having other problems. Consider checking the following items, and talk to a trusted mechanic for more help.

Air Conditioning

You rely on the air conditioning system in your car more during the summer, so this is a good place to start. First, make sure it’s working by testing it before the heat arrives. Check the belts for damage or wear. Look at the condenser fins to make sure they’re clean. Next, check the cabin air filter, and replace it if it’s dirty. Finally, check the refrigerant levels.

Cooling System

Start by looking at your car owner’s manual for recommendations about cooling system maintenance. In general, you need to flush and refill the coolant in a car every 24 months, but this can vary. Make sure you have enough coolant, and it’s the right mix of antifreeze and water. Also, look at your belts, hoses, and clamps to confirm they’re in good shape.

Tires

Summer heat can be tough on your tires. Start by keeping them inflated at the right level. Then, check for cracks, cuts, or other problems. Pay attention to the tread. If it’s uneven, it may be time for an alignment. Also, check your spare tire and keep it inflated.

If you use winter tires, it’s time to switch to summer tires. You may also want to change to summer tires even if you use all-season ones. Summer tires have a better grip in warmer temperatures.

Brakes

Your brakes can wear out faster in higher temperatures. Start by inspecting the brake pads and rotors. Pay attention to any noises that come from the brakes while you’re driving. It’s cheaper to get them fixed before the rotors are damaged.

Oil

Follow your mechanic’s and car manufacturer’s recommendations for changing the oil and replacing the oil filter. In general, most cars need an oil change every 3,000 miles or three months. Check your oil levels and pay attention to the color of the oil. It should be brownish-yellow.

Fluids

Check all the fluids in your car. This includes fluids for brakes, windshield washer, radiator, transmission, and others. Make sure they’re at the right levels and the correct colors. If any of them are darker than normal, it’s time to have them changed.

Battery

Inspect your battery and connections. There shouldn’t be any corrosion or debris on top of the battery. Consider having your battery tested by a professional to make sure it can hold a charge. Extreme temperatures, such as anything over 86°F, can affect the battery performance and life span.

Emergency Kit

Preparing for summer is the perfect time to check your car emergency kit. Make sure you have water, jumper cables, extra coolant, tools, gloves, rags, and flashlights. Consider adding a first aid kit with bandages, gauze, antiseptics, and other items.

Sun Shade

Although it’s not a requirement, getting a sun shade or replacing an old one can make the interior of your car more comfortable in the summer heart. Shades are designed to cover the front of your windshield and block out the sun when you’re parked. Your steering wheel will feel cooler when your car isn’t sitting in the direct sun.

Preparing your car for the summer heat can save you time and money by preventing costly repairs. Regular maintenance is essential for every vehicle. If you need more help, talk to your mechanic about other ways to get the car ready for the heat.

Sources:

http://www.ase.com/News-Events/Publications/Glove-Box-Tips/Getting-Your-Vehicle-Ready-For-Summer.aspx

https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-to-get-your-car-ready-for-summer-by-brady-klopfer

http://www.azfamily.com/story/28379303/how-to-get-your-car-ready-for-the-imminent-summer-heat

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