Summer is a great time for family vacations and road trips, but can your car stand up to the heat? Before heading out for a new adventure, there are a few easy ways to protect your car throughout the summer.
1. Schedule a maintenance check
Keeping up with preventative maintenance will help your car not only in the summer, but all year long. Bring your car in for regular tune-ups to ensure all parts are operating as expected.
Over time, the parts of the car and engine will wear down and the intense heat of summer can expedite the process. Be sure to schedule an oil change and battery check the next time youbring your car in for maintenance. With a regularly scheduled tune-up, the engine stays in excellent shape and you can prevent serious repairs or damages.
2. Check your tires for wear and tear
Your tires are a big investment. To keep them protected, it's important to maintain proper tire balance and wheel alignment, as well as schedule tire rotations. These simple maintenance steps will increase the life of your tires and provide a safer drive.
It's also crucial to keep tires properly inflated. Under or over-inflated tires can decrease fuel economy, 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 you do face an incident, make sure you're familiar with our easy steps to changing a flat tire!
3. Keep your cooling system in peak condition
At Christian Brothers Automotive, we understand the need to feel cool and comfortable during a summer drive. However, a failing AC or cooling system could lead to a long – and uncomfortable – season.
When the outside temperature rises, the entire car is put through extra strain. The cooling system especially has to work extra hard just to maintain the car's internal temperature.
If you don't feel your car cooling off as quickly as it should or your temperature gauge fluctuates to "hot", bring your car in for an AC 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
Driving with a broken light is both dangerous and a quick way to get pulled over by a local police officer. Before the start of the summer and winter seasons, do a quick check of all lights to ensure everything is lighting up properly. Have a friend stand outside the car as you check:
- Brake lights
- Turn signals
- Hazard lights
- Trailer lights (if applicable)
If any lights are out, call Christian Brothers Automotive for a simple replacement. However, if more than one light is out, you could have an issue with your car's electrical system. If this is the case, ask your auto technician to investigate.
5. Take care of belts and hoses
Hoses and belts are a vital part of your engine's performance. Belts manage the alternator and water pump while the hoses carry fluids and vapor. These elements are a big part of your engine’s performance.
About once a year, 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 are uncomfortable checking any part of your engine, call your local Christian Brothers Automotive. Our professional mechanics will check your belts and hoses so you know they’re in good condition.
6. Prepare an emergency roadside kit
It's always a good idea to carry an emergency roadside kit in your trunk. This is especially crucial during summer road trips or any time you're driving long distances. Make sure your emergency kit includes:
- First aid kit
- An empty gas can
- Jumper cables
- Spare tire
- Basic repair tools (especially a cross wrench and duct tape)
- A jug of water
It's always exciting when summer rolls back around. However, without proper maintenance and preparation, your car might not make it to fall. Take care of your car and have a safe drive with our 6 summer driving tips.
Have a great summer!