While the hot summer temperatures can take their toll on us all, they can also impact the health of your automobile. Below is a helpful checklist of some simple preventative measures that can get your car ready for the road and keep it on the road! Because we all love road trips, until we end up pulled over on the side of the road with car trouble. As always, know your limits and consult a professional when necessary.
- If you used winter tires, now is the time to change over to your summer tires.
- Have your tires rotated every 5,000 miles or as recommended by your owner’s manual.
- The heat of summer makes the air in your tires expand, so make a point to check the tire pressure regularly as your tires adjust to the new temperatures.
- Don’t forget the spare! This is a great time to take out your spare tire and make sure it is ready for service as well.
- Do a once-over on your brake system. In most cars, the brake pads can be seen through the whee to determine thickness. Some brake pads have a slot in the center that serves as a wear indicator as well. When all else fails, schedule an appointment with your automotive repair expert.
- Check the battery in your car and make sure the connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
Filters & Fluids
- Make sure to check all of your fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake, and transmission. Don’t forget to make sure the windshield solvent and coolant.
- Dirty air filters can impact the efficiency of your car by wasting as and causing engine power loss. Make sure those are clean as well.
Hoses & Belts
- Visually inspect the hoses and belts making sure that none of them have become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of wear.
- Check all hose clamps and tighten as necessary.
- Before you hit the road, it’s a good idea to inspect the air conditioning system by checking for worn or damaged belts.
- Make sure the condenser fins are clear of debris so air can move around them.
- Have a professional check your refrigerant level.
- Check your owner’s manual for info on replacing cabin air filters (if you have them).
- Inspect radiator and hoses for leaks or cracks and be sure all connections are tight.
- Check your coolant level and add antifreeze as necessary. (Safety First – never remove the radiator or coolant reservoir cap until the engine has cooled completely!)
- Check the radiator cap for cracks, inspect the rubber gasket for cracks or damage.
- Clean any debris from the radiator fins that may have accumulated over the winter.
- Have the cooling system flushed and refilled according to your owner’s manual.
- Check that the gas cap is not damaged or loose and that the gasket around the cap isn’t cracked or damaged. The gas cap is a critical component of your car’s emission control system and should be air tight.