How do I Prepare my Car for Summer?
Hot summer months are very tough on the mechanical components of your vehicle. Your cooling system has to work double time just to keep your engine from overheating, the tires need to work well on the hot pavement, and unless you like to sweat you want to make sure that air conditioner is in top shape.
It doesn’t take much to make sure that your vehicle is ready for summer. Let’s start with the air conditioner; if you don’t have enough Freon then it is not going to cool very well. A good Freon charge will usually do the trick. The technician willuse a machine like the one seen here to check the Freon and tell you if it needs charging.
Secondly you need to change out the oil. Oil will run thinner when it is hotter, so you will need a higher viscosity oil in the hotter months. If the oil you use is too thin, then your engine will not get enough lubrication. Your owner’s manual will recommend the oil you should be using and you can also ask your service advisor.
If you had snow tires on your vehicle then you will need to swap those out. Snow tires will wear out much faster on the hot, dry ground. If you don’t use snow tires, then perform your regular maintenance on the tires by rotating and keeping the tires properly inflated. Tires wear improperly when they are not inflated to the manufacturers specifications and they will get uneven wear if you do not rotate them so be sure and take care of this just as recommend.
Don’t forget to check all the fluids in the vehicle! Radiator fluid and windshield washer fluid need to be checked and wiper blades should be replaced if worn. Have you ever been in a thunderstorm with worn out wiper blades? They either don’t clean the water off, or if they are really bad, they will go flying off.
I suggest if you are going on a road trip to have the belts and hoses checked out. If you don’t know when they were replaced then it is an especially good idea to check this. Check your battery and clean the corrosion of the post. You should make sure you carry jumper cables with you in case you ever get in a bind. I am always amazed when I people go running around yelling “do you have jumper cables” after they can’t start their car. It is something my dad made me carry at all times.
Now some tips from my grandmother; she was a huge believer in being prepared at all times. So here is my grandmother’s advice. You should always carry certain things in your vehicle in case you get stranded, including a flashlight, bottled water, small tools, a change of clothes (you may have to walk and if you are dressed up you will be happy for this), something to snack on and paper towels.