It’s nearly summertime, folks! And the best thing you can do to safeguard and prolong the health of your vehicle (and your safety while driving it) is to perform these simple, yet essential summer car care tips.
Let’s start with the most important – your car’s coolant system. If this isn’t up to the task, your car could overheat and cause catastrophic, expensive damage to a multitude of essential engine components. Your vehicle’s coolant is a mixture of antifreeze – usually ethylene or propylene glycol – and water and is stored in the radiator. Make sure your vehicle’s coolant is at the proper level. While you’re at it, check the hoses for any cracks, leaks, or other signs of weakness – especially around the connection points.
Make sure your engine belts are in good working condition, with the right amount of tension. A loose or damaged belt will usually produce a loud screeching sound while the engine is running. Well-worn belts could have become brittle, cracked, or otherwise compromised during the cold winter months, and will be more likely to overheat and fail as the temperature rises. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the blistering heat with engine belts that will keep everything running properly.
You do not want to be driving without air conditioning in Oklahoma during the summer. If your AC unit has issues, it’s best to get them fixed now before the temperature skyrockets into the triple-digits (trust us – get it fixed now before it’s an emergency!).
Assuming that your AC is working properly (or it’s about to), keep it running low and steady. Over-cranking it to cool down can be hard on your vehicle, and it also negatively affects your fuel economy.
Many families utilize their summers for road trips and family vacations, so you’ll definitely want to make sure that your tires are ready for the drive. And, whether you’re traveling or not, you’ll want to be prepared for rain-slickened roads during the inevitable summer storms.
Your tires are something that should be checked regularly, year around. Ensure there’s a healthy amount of tread by taking a penny, turning it upside down, and placing it in between the tire’s tread. If you can still see Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.
It’s also common for some tires to have pressure fluctuations as the temperature changes, so you’ll want to make sure that they’re properly inflated and effectively holding air.
As summer approaches, be sure to check each of these systems to maintain the health of your vehicle and your safety while driving it. Be sure to check out Summer Car Car Part 2 for even more tips to keep your car running nice and cool.