On average, people in America use their cars way more in the summer months than in winter. This may have something to do with the 40 million-plus road trips that people take in the summer, or it could just simply be because public transport in the summer is not as pleasant.
Whatever the reason, to travel safely in the summer, you need to keep up with your summer car maintenance. Traveling in a poorly maintained car can be uncomfortable, expensive, and downright dangerous.
Not familiar with how to maintain your car properly in the summer? Here are 9 car maintenance tips to keep in mind this summer.
1. Keep an Eye on Your Coolant System
Keeping your car cool is extremely important in the summer months. Because of this, you should regularly check the coolant fluid levels in your car and top it off when needed.
You should also check the coolant reservoir and hoses for any cracks or leaks. These often appear around the hose connection points. If you spot any of these, you should get them repaired as soon as possible.
Even without leaks, you may need to repair the coolant hoses after a while. To test them out, give them a squeeze when your engine is cool; you want them to be firm rather than soft or squishy.
2. Check Your Engine Belts
Your engine belts run between the alternator in your car and the fan, as well as passing through some other components. These can become weak and loosen over time, and summer heat will certainly not help with this.
It is essential to replace an engine belt as soon as it starts to weaken so that it doesn't break completely. When checking your belt, lookout for any signs of cracking or weakness along them.
3. Don't Forget the AC System
Summers in America can reach highs of 81°F, so checking that your air-conditioner works is a vital part of your summer car maintenance.
You should start by checking that your system has enough refrigerant in it. If it doesn't, this is usually a sign that you have a leak. In that case, you need to identify where the leak is and seal it up before using the system again.
It's worth keeping in mind that old systems will be more susceptible to leaks. If yours keeps breaking, it may be time to consider replacing it with a newer model.
4. Clear Your Air Filters
Over winter your car's air filters can become clogged with leaves and other debris from the road. Once the weather dries up, it's a good idea to give these a thorough cleaning.
Depending on the make and age of your car, you should look at your:
- Drainage points
- Windshield-washer nozzles
- Air filters
- Pollen filters
- Cabin filtration systems
Those last two are usually only found in newer vehicle models, so if you drive an older car and can't find them, you can leave them off your car maintenance list.
5. Check Your Tires Before You Drive
If your tires burst or go flat while on the road, this can be a major inconvenience or even leave you stranded. You definitely don't want to get stranded on the roadside with the summer heat!
On top of that, driving on a flat tire will do a lot of damage to your wheels, so you should check the condition of your tires on a regular basis.
- Checking the pressure of your tires
- Checking for stones, nails, and other debris stuck in the tire's tread
- Looking for cracks or signs of uneven wear
Of course, even if your tires are in excellent condition you should always carry a spare in your trunk.
6. Top Off Essential Fluids
Your car runs on a lot of fluid, as well as coolant. You should check the level of these fluids in your car regularly:
- Brake fluid
- Windshield-washer fluid
If your brakes feel off and the fluid level is fine, you may need to replace the brake pads. In that case, you should take your car in to see a professional immediately.
7. Invest in a Sunshade
A sunshade fits inside your windshield and is a great addition to your summer car maintenance list, especially if you are going to be driving for long periods of time.
A shade protects you from ultraviolet rays and can improve your visibility while driving. On top of this, a dashboard shade will keep the car cooler for you.
You can also get rear window shades to protect your children in the backseat on long journeys.
8. Give Everything a Good Clean
The summer is the perfect time to clean your car - the weather is warm and your car should dry off in next to no time.
Keeping your car clean in the summer isn't just a matter of practicality, it's also important for your safety when driving.
When sunlight - especially low, evening sunlight - hits a dirty windshield, it can suddenly become very difficult to see out of. This visual impairment puts you and other road users in danger.
Keeping your car clean in the summer is a simple and easy way to stay safe on the road.
9. Keep Your Car Well-Stocked
As winter approaches, a lot of people think about preparing their car for winter driving emergencies. They may, for example, put a shovel and warm blankets in the trunk.
In the same way, you can prepare your car and passengers for summer by stocking up with essentials. For example, having plenty of bottled water is vital to keeping everyone hydrated properly when on the road.
Other useful things to keep in your car include:
- Spare sunglasses
- Sun hats
- Travel mugs
- Phone chargers, tablet chargers, and remote charging blocks
- Route planners or GPS
- Emergency triangle
- Spare tire
- Small tool kit
- First aid kit
- Can of Fix-a-Flat
Follow These Summer Car Care Tips For an Easy Ride
These summer car tips will ensure that your journey goes off without any issues. And to enjoy an even more flawless journey, head over to the lastest summer car accessory sale!