The lazy days of summer do not give you permission to neglect your vehicle. In fact, after a long, harsh winter and tumultuous spring, your car desperately needs your attention to get ready to handle summer’s unique challenges of sun and heat as well as the demands of summer travel.
According to AutoTrader.com writer Colin Ryan, the car maintenance tips below will help you and your car get ready for the open road quicker than you can say flip-flop.
Keep it clean
A dirty windshield can compromise visibility when the sun hits it, so you should regularly clean your windshield as well as the entire car. Nothing beats up a car’s paintjob than hot sun rays, and the yuck from birds and insects will damage your vehicle’s exterior, too. After a thorough washing, a good-quality wax will help your car sparkle even more in the sun.
Stock summer essentials
Road trips and summer are best friends, so make sure your vehicle is stocked with summer essentials like water, snacks, sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, entertainment for the children, phone and tablet chargers, weather information, an emergency triangle, small tool kit and flashlight. A sunshade for the dash and/or shades for the rear windows will help keep the interior a little cooler in between activities.
Number one on the road trip list, though, is a full check-up from an automotive professional especially if your car is due for a scheduled service or if your brakes seem iffy. If your serpentine belt shows signs of wear, cracks or gives up completely, add this fix to your service appointment.
Kick the tires
Tires should be on your radar all year long, but especially in summer make sure your tires are properly inflated, are not showing uneven wear or cracks and the tread is at the right depth. It’s also a good time to check the condition of the spare.
Check the air
Your car air filter takes a beating from the weather, and summer is a great opportunity to check its condition, clean it or replace it if necessary. Same goes for your windshield wipers—after surviving April’s showers, your wipers are probably due to be replaced.
Keep it cool
The last thing you probably worried about this winter and spring was the working order of your car’s air conditioning. But summer heats up fast, and if your air conditioner is lacking in cooling power, it’s time for a check-up; it might have a leak which definitely requires the expertise of a mechanic. While thinking cool thoughts, take a second to check the coolant reservoir and how your car’s hoses are holding up—if they feel soft, it’s time for a change or fix.
Make sure your car‘s fluids are at the right levels—windshield-washer, power-steering, brake and oil fluids are constantly being drained, and without the correct amount, your car is at risk for damage.
By performing these suggested maintenance tips on your car, you will be on the right path for a summer of fun.
This article is presented by Autoteam Delaware in Wilmington, Delaware.