Preparing Your Vehicle for the Summer


summer-car-tipsThe hot summer months can take a toll on your vehicle. Your car has already been through plenty with the nasty New England winters and the hot summer months are just around the corner ready to put your vehicle through another round of extreme weather. The good news is that you can extend the lifespan of your vehicle and avoid mechanical problems by preparing and staying up to date with vehicle maintenance.

Air Conditioning Maintenance

Have you tested out you A/C after the long winter?  If not, give it a try.  If you’re A/C is blowing out warm or lukewarm air there is a good chance that it needs to be recharged or (potentially) something more complicated.  Don’t wait for the blistering heat to arrive, be proactive and take your vehicle to a qualified automobile technician.  Although there are a number of ‘do-it-yourself’ A/C recharge options, we still recommend a certified tech handle the job as he/she can identify if it’s something more serious.  A system recharge can be a quick repair that is worth every dollar once the summer arrives, so don’t wait!

Cooling System Maintenance

The cooling system plays an integral role in the operation of your vehicle’s motor and engine performance. Overheating is one of the top reasons that vehicles break down during the summer months. It is recommended that you have your cooling systems flushed and refilled every two years. You want to make sure that the concentration of the coolant, levels, and system condition is checked even more often than that.  Make note that If you work on your vehicle yourself, remember to never take off your radiator cap until your engine is 100% cool.  If it’s something more than topping off your fluid we recommend a qualified mechanic assist.

Oil Changes

We all know about Oil Changes and how critical they are.  Oil changes should be performed approximately every 3,000 miles. However, if your manual says that you need to change your oil and oil filter more often, you should stick with that.  Check with a certified mechanic if you’re unsure of the proper oil viscosity for your vehicle.  Additionally, if you take a lot of long trips or many frequent rides you should be having your oil changed more frequently.

Windshield Wipers Maintenance

Something as small, simple and inexpensive as new windshield wiper blades can make a world of difference.  It’s simple, If your windshield is not clean, your vehicle is not safe to and could increase the likelihood of an accident.  Your blades can take a battering during the winter and then can crack and break once the warmer months arrive.  Do yourself, and your vehicle, a favor and swap out the blades for a fresh pair so you can wipe off the heavy rains, bird droppings, bugs and other debris while out on the road.

Tire Maintenance

It is suggested that your tires should be rotated every 5,000 miles.  However, this is not necessarily set in stone depending on your vehicle and tire types. Nonetheless, your should check your tires often – at least every month you should check the tire pressure and this should be done when they are cooled down (not right after you’ve been on the road). In addition, you want to make sure that your spare tire is always in good condition and your jack works. When inspecting your tires, take note of their tread life, cupping, wearing, and the sidewalls.  Having a blowout in the middle of a hot summer day can make for quite a disaster.  Stay ahead of the curve by checking out your tires.

Battery Maintenance

Your battery can go dead at any time. After a harsh, cold, winter your battery may be in need of replacement.  The only way to know if your battery is weak is with professional equipment. However, on your end, you want to make sure that your connections are always tight, corrosion is not near posts and cables, and that the surface remains clean.

Bottom Line

When summer time rolls around you need to make sure your car is ready to survive it.  Prepare your vehicle by adhering to routine maintenance.  Always have basic tools in your car for emergencies and if you think anything at all is off, contact a mechanic immediately.
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