Extreme weather conditions are one of the common causes of a number of car problems. And if you think that only winter can take a toll on your car, the sweltering summer weather can also be just as detrimental. The hot temperatures can impact your car’s battery, engine, brakes, fluids and tires. And since summer is now in full swing, now is the best time to learn about some summer car care tips.
Get your battery ready for high temperatures
Problems with the battery do not only happen during winter. In fact, a car battery is more prone to breakdown in the summer than in freezing winter temperatures. Extreme heat is one of a battery’s worst enemies. While we can never really do something about the temperature, there’s always something that can be done to protect your battery. Minimize vibration by making sure it is securely mounted. The faster evaporation of fluids usually leads to corrosion. Be sure to clean any corrosion buildup at the battery terminals. Tighten the clamps so they will not move. Also, find out how much longer your battery will last by having it tested by a mechanic.
Change your oil and oil filter
Intense weather conditions can put extra demand on a vehicle’s oil as well as its oil filter. So if it’s been a while since you’ve had your oil changed, be sure to have it changed ASAP. Your oil plays an important role in keeping the engine components lubricated. The oil filter, on the other hand, ensures that harmful debris is unable to get into the oil system. Be sure not to skip this part because cleaner oil and filter equates to a cleaner and happier engine.
Check fluid levels
Changes in the weather conditions can cause a quick reduction on your car’s fluid levels. Be sure to always check your power steering fluid, transmission fluid, coolant and windshield wiper fluid. And since the temperature is particularly higher during the summer, your coolant fluid is something you should keep an eye on. Overheating is one of the major reasons of car breakdowns in the summer, so be sure to perform these inspections regularly to ensure that all fluids are at appropriate levels.
Monitor tire pressure
Keeping your tires properly inflated reduces the risk of overheating which leads to a tire blowout. Monitor your tire pressure regularly and avoid driving on under-inflated tires. Do this inspection at least once a month and don’t forget to check your spare tire. If you want to get the most accurate reading, do your inspection when the temperature is colder. Refer to your owner’s manual to get the right pressure recommendation for your tires.
Pay attention to tire alignment
You’d know it’s time to check the vehicle alignment when your car starts pulling to the side, you can’t drive straight or your steering wheel isn’t centered. Alignment issues can be caused by a number of factors, such as run-ins with potholes and rough roads or by natural wear and tear. Nevertheless, make it a regular habit to check your alignment as it will increase the longevity of your tires and help you achieve a better driving experience.
Inspect your brakes
Summer is the perfect time to go for long drives and vacations. Be sure your brakes are fine-tuned for the road, not only to guarantee a perfect driving experience, but also to ensure road safety.
Be ready for potential breakdowns
Even with adequate maintenance and preparations for the hot season, car breakdowns are still a possibility. Therefore, always have an emergency kit ready in your car all the time. The kit should have a flashlight, non-perishable food, water, jumper cables, first aid kit and basic hand tools.
Summertime is a great time to enjoy long drives and road adventures. But before you sit behind the wheel, make sure to perform these summer car care tips which are relatively simple to keep your car protected against the intense weather conditions.
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