Q: School is out, summer is here, and I have a million and one things to do! What are some things I can do now to prepare my car for summer driving? The last thing I need is a breakdown in this heat!
A: There definitely are some basic steps you can take to better prepare your car for the summer driving season. Here are five that will keep you and your car ready for travel!
Check tires regularly for proper pressure and excessive wear
Hot weather combined with underinflated tires or worn out tread can lead to disaster. Keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure not only improves fuel economy, but it also ensures that your car will handle optimally in an emergency and will help prevent blow-outs. Tire pressure specifications listed in your manual or inside driver door are for a cold tire therefore check pressures before you head out on the road.
Look at your tires for any damage or excessive wear. An easy way to determine whether a tire has sufficient tread is to do a “penny test”. Insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head pointed down. If the tread does not cover Lincoln’s head, take your car to Honest-1 for a professional opinion on your best options.
Check cooling systems
Coolant problems and engines overheating are still the most significant summer heat issues. The cooling system is what keeps your vehicle’s engine running at the proper and safe temperature. Making sure your cooling system is flushed and filled properly with the ideal mixture of coolant and water is an important part of summer car maintenance.
Check your manufacturer’s recommendations for your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and if a flush is needed or even getting close make an appointment.
If your temperature gauge does move to the red, turn on your car’s heat immediately. Doing this pulls the strain away from the engine. Then pull over and let your engine cool down. Do not drive a hot engine.
A/C Service Lately?
If your car does not blow cool air or the air coming from the vents is not as cold as it used to be, the system could be low on refrigerant or have a slow leak. Getting it checked out before it becomes a problem will not only save you time and hassle but will prevent you from costly repairs later. There is nothing worse than being on the road during an Arizona summer without a fully functioning air conditioning system!
Change oil on schedule and keep full
Engine oil must be replaced at recommended intervals using the weight/viscosity of oil required by your vehicle's owner manual. If your daily driving falls into the "severe service" category, follow all maintenance intervals and recommendations.
Honest-1 customer service advisors can help you choose the best oil for your car as well as give you options to help your car run the most efficiently.
It’s a good idea to check oil levels monthly. If you notice a drop in oil level or any small leaks, bring it in and let us check it out.
Check the battery
Unfortunately, a battery gives little warning before it goes dead and it can happen when you least expect it. If your battery is between 3-5 years old and you are setting off on a long trip, consider bringing it in to get it checked out before you leave. In addition, check for corrosion on posts and connections. Those corroded posts can also lead to light malfunctions or other electrical problems. Finally, have a pair of jumper cables in the trunk just in case. It’s always better to be prepared for the unexpected.
No one wants to be in an emergency situation but unfortunately, it happens sometimes. Being prepared by maintaining your car and keeping a keen eye out for any problems will definitely save you time, money and hassle.
Before your summer vacation trips, come to Honest-1 and use your “Summer Ready” coupon to help save you money on all the five things we listed. Finally, drive carefully and have a safe summer season!