[Updated 9/26/2020] Summer is supposed to be a season for fun in the sun, and that’s why the last thing that anyone wants is car trouble of any kind. Luckily, in this article, you’ll find 5 handy tips to get your car ready for summer. Although some of these things you may be able to handle yourself, there are some things that are best left to a certified mechanic.
Should you decide to do it yourself, to ensure safety, your car should not only be turned off, but also sufficiently cooled off before proceeding to perform any sort of inspection or work on it. In addition, make sure that the auto is placed in ‘park’ with the parking brake on and that it’s sitting on a level surface.
Check Your Cooling System
Since engine overheating is much more common when weather temperatures rise, you certainly want to make sure that the cooling system in your car is in proper operating condition before getting on the road. This involves popping the hood and taking a good look around at the following:
- Look closely at the radiator hoses and examine them for leaks or cracks. Also, make sure that all the connections and clamps are secure and tight.
- Thoroughly inspect the radiator cap by removing it and making sure it’s in good condition and that there are no cracks or signs of excessive wear. Don’t forget to confirm that the rubber gasket is intact and in place.
- Flush the cooling system periodically and refill with the recommended coolant for your particular vehicle. Every other summer should be more than sufficient for flushing, but check your car maintenance manual for recommendations on how often you should have this done.
- While driving on warmer days, remember to monitor the temperature gauge on your dashboard panel. If it begins to rise above the midpoint, open the windows and turn the heat on high in order to draw it away from the engine and into the cabin of the car. Then, safely pull over as soon as possible and turn the engine off immediately. After allowing it to completely cool down, you can then begin to troubleshoot or call for roadside assistance.
Belts and Hoses
Summer also means higher humidity, which can have a detrimental effect on some of the components in your car, especially the rubber belts and hoses. So, with the engine compartment cooled down, grab a bright flashlight and go over all the visible belts and hoses, carefully checking the overall appearance and general condition.
Look to see if there are any signs of trouble such as worn out parts, cracks, and loose or bad connections. Rather than just doing a visual inspection, try using your hands to feel around the underside of the hoses for any deterioration. If you locate anything that is loose, retighten it if reachable, and if it’s not accessible and/or faulty parts are found, you’ll likely need to have them properly replaced by a certified professional.
Check All Other Fluid Levels
Getting your car ready for summer or any season also entails checking all the other fluid levels in your car. Adding fluids should be an easy enough task, but just be sure you’re using the correct products that are meant for your type of vehicle. Putting the wrong type of fluid in your system can actually have damaging effects that you may not even notice until it’s too late.
Also, be absolutely positive that whatever fluid you’re adding is being put into the right reservoir, as getting it wrong will eventually cause major problems. If you can’t tell from the cap labels, the information on the location to add each fluid should be available in your car manual or online. Be careful not to overfill or excessively spill onto other areas of the engine compartment or on the ground, as this can be poisonous to animals.
At this time, you should also check for any leaks or holes in hoses or the reservoir itself. Additionally, take note of which fluids are unusually low and mention them to the next technician that services your car for something, so that they can do a more thorough inspection.
Check Your Brake System
Hot weather can, of course, increase the temperature of anything, including your car’s brake system, which is already hot to begin with. Some potential problems that could arise are your pads wearing down quickly and therefore, it is best to address your brakes at the beginning of summer, as this way you won’t have to worry about it. It only makes sense that excessive braking will wear down your pads much more quickly, so try to avoid slamming on the brakes whenever possible. Remember, the harder you are on your brakes, the harder it will eventually be on your wallet!
It is generally recommended to have a brake system inspection done by a professional twice per year. However, if you begin to hear any sort of slight squealing noise coming from the tire area, don’t hesitate to have it looked at. If you wait too long to replace the brake pads, your car will probably require rotor replacement as well, which will cost you more time and money.
Get A Tune-Up
Last but not least, before the heavy heat arrives, treat your car to a tune-up by a certified auto technician. This is perhaps one of the most overlooked/disregarded maintenance steps when it comes to people taking care of their cars, yet it can also be one of the most beneficial. More of a preventative measure, this is suggested at different intervals for different cars. The service can help your car run optimally and ensure longevity. It includes checking spark plugs, wires, and more while addressing any issues that are encountered.
Please note that even if you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person who could probably handle this task, it should really be done by an experienced mechanic. This way, you know it was done right and you can ‘officially’ enter the service in your car’s maintenance manual, which can add value if you ever sell your car or trade it in.
Get Your Car Ready For Summer
These 5 tips on getting your car ready for summer will help to keep it running smoothly, as breaking down on a 90° day is definitely not an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon!
However, if your car does have problems or requires service and you happen to live in the Aurora Colorado area, be sure to contact our capable team at Tune Tech Automotive. Simply send us an email or call us at 303.364.3391 and we’ll be happy to answer any maintenance questions you may have and/or schedule an appointment for your vehicle with one of our ASE certified technicians. Our expert services include Tune-ups, Brakes, Oil Changes, and much more…
For additional auto advice and tips, feel free to cruise around our blog and revisit our page periodically for more on car maintenance and to stay informed on any special deals we’re offering. Plus, please follow us on Facebook where we regularly post essential information on maintaining your automobile.