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Summertime Car Maintenance: Under the Hood

Summertime Car Maintenance: Under the Hood

Summer officially starts on June 21 in 2019, and for Oklahoma, you know that means things are about to get hot, hot, hot! In addition to your summertime lake preparations, family trips, and cookouts, it’s important to make sure that your vehicle is also good and ready for the upcoming heatwave. The best thing you can do for your vehicle this summer is to get this simple, yet essential, summer car maintenance.

This is Part 1: Under the Hood

Essential Fluids

Engine Oil

Let’s start with the most regular (and vital) of preventative maintenance tasks: oil changes. Most vehicles require that you get your oil changed every 3,000 miles. This ensures that the engine is properly lubricated, prolonging its life and helping the vehicle not to overheat.

Integrity offers our customers oil changes for only $15 throughout the life of the loan. We use Mobil 100% synthetic oil, and we also check all your belts, fluids, tires, and all your lights.

Coolant System

If your coolant isn’t topped off, your car could overheat and cause catastrophic, expensive damage to a barrage of essential engine components. Your vehicle’s coolant is a mixture of antifreeze – usually ethylene or propylene glycol – and water, and it’s stored in the radiator. This one is a cinch to check and maintain yourself (and Integrity also performs it every time we perform an oil change). Make sure your vehicle’s coolant is at the proper level, and check the hoses for any cracks, leaks, or other signs of weakness – especially around the connection points.

Other Essential Fluids

Additionally, your car’s other essential fluids should also be checked regularly, all year long.

This includes:

  • Transmission Fluid
  • Power-Steering Fluid
  • Brake Fluid
  • Air Conditioning Fluid
  • Washer Fluid

In addition to checking, replacing, or topping off these essential fluids, it’s important to note how your car feels. Do the brakes feel right, or are they starting to grind? More maintenance may be required to keep a safe and properly-operational vehicle, but a good rule of thumb is to start with the fluids. For more in-depth information on the topic, check out our blog on Essential Fluids.

Engine Belts

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 will become brittle, cracked, or otherwise compromised during the cold winter months, and they will be more likely to overheat and fail as the temperatures rise. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the Oklahoma heat with engine belts that will keep everything running properly.

Air Conditioning

You do not want to be driving without air conditioning in Oklahoma during the summer. If your AC unit has issues, get them fixed now while we’re still under 90º. Putting it off will only lead to your extreme discomfort, and it may even damage your vehicle.

Over-cranking you AC to cool down a hot cabin can be hard on your vehicle, and it also negatively affects your fuel economy. Keep it running low and steady.

As summer approaches, be sure to check and maintain each of these systems to ensure the health of your vehicle and your safety while driving it.

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