Summers are the perfect time for family fun. From road trips to long vacations, nothing beats the summer months! But before you drive off on a new adventure, make sure your vehicle can stand up to the heat.
Follow 6 easy maintenance services from Christian Brothers Automotive in Austin, Texas:
1. Schedule a maintenance check
Keeping up with regularly scheduled preventative maintenance is important all year long. However, the summer heat is especially harmful to your car. Regular check-ups will make sure your engine is operating at maximum efficiency.
Make sure you're up-to-date on oil and filter changes, battery charge tests and fluid level checks. Because extreme temperatures put additional strain on your engine, regularly scheduled maintenance can protect your vehicle against breakdowns and serious repairs.
2. Check your tires for wear and tear
Your tires are a big investment, and there are many minor maintenance services necessary to keep them in tip-top shape. Regular tire rotations, alignment adjustments and air pressure checks will increase the tires' lifespan and keep every drive as safe as possible. When checking the tire's air pressure, it's important not to over-inflate them.
While driving with under-inflated tires can cause uneven wear and decrease fuel economy, over-inflated tires can destroy tire tread, impair handling, and may even lead to a blowout. Make sure your tires match the vehicle manufacturer's inflation recommendation.
You can find the proper PSI (pounds per square inch) listed in the owner's manual, on the tire information label in the glove box or on the inside of the driver's side door. If there is an incident while driving, make sure you've read through and fully understand our guide to changing a flat tire in 13 easy steps.
3. Keep your cooling system in peak condition
Realizing your air conditioner is broken in the middle of a blistering summer would certainly stink! At Christian Brothers Automotive Brodie Lane, we understand the need to feel cool and comfortable during every drive. Unfortunately, a compromised AC or cooling system would result in a long (and uncomfortable) summer.
As the months become hotter, the cooling system has to work harder just to keep up.
If you don't feel your car cooling off as quickly as it should or your temperature gauge stays on "hot", bring your car in for an AC inspection and cooling system check. Our ASE-certified technicians will make sure the radiator, coolant, hoses, water pump and cooling pump are in peak condition.
4. Check all lights for outages
A missing headlight or blown taillight is both dangerous and an easy way to get pulled over by an Austin police officer. Before the summer and winter months, run through all car lights to make sure everything illuminates properly. If one or more lights are out, schedule a replacement with Christian Brothers Automotive.
If more than one light won't turn on, request an electrical system inspection. Multiple light issues could signal a more serious problem.
Make sure to check:
- Brake lights
- Turn signals
- Hazard lights
- Trailer lights (if applicable)
5. Take care of belts and hoses
Hose and belt checks are an essential part of vehicle maintenance. Belts help the engine's moving parts operate as expected and hoses carry fluids and vapor from one vital function to another. At the beginning of every summer, check your belts and hoses for wear and tear.
Pinch the hoses to make sure they are not rigid or sticking together. Look to see if there is any swelling at the connection between the engine and the radiator. When checking belts, look for cracks, fraying or exposed threads.
If you're not comfortable checking yourself, call Christian Brothers Automotive in Austin. Our specialists will check the condition of all belts and hoses for you.
6. Prepare an emergency roadside kit
Always be prepared with an emergency roadside kit. On summer road trips especially, make sure you have the necessities in case your car suddenly brakes down or you experience a flat tire.
Your emergency roadside kit should include:
- First aid kit
- An empty gas can
- Jumper cables
- Spare tire with adequate tire air pressure
- Basic repair tools (especially a cross wrench and duct tape)
- A jug of water
Summer is an exciting time for all ages.
With proper maintenance and preparation, you can make sure your vehicle drives strong into the fall season. With our 6 summer driving tips, you can keep your car healthy and your family safe. Have a great summer!