Summer Car Care Tips
Congratulations! Your vehicle made it through the winter months in the frozen tundra we call Wisconsin. Now that we’re all a little unthawed, it’s time to get prepared for the sweltering heat of the summer, the pollen, and the dusty dry winds. Think about how good you feel when you can stay clean and cool during this time of year—well, it’s no different for your car.
The following tips will help keep your car healthy and running smooth through the sizzling summer months:
Hot Spots To Monitor
- Air Conditioning: Have your A/C checked by a certified technician to assure it’s operating at optimum efficiency. The only thing worse than being stuck in stop-and-go-traffic is to be stuck while your car is blowing hot air.
- Oil: You should be changing your oil & filter every 3 months/3000 miles. A car without fresh oil is just an expensive lawn ornament. New, clean oil is not only necessary for your car to run, but it keeps your engine running at peak performance.
- Filters: With your oil change, you’ll have received a new oil filter—but what about your air and fuel filters? You should be replacing these as recommended in your owner’s manual. If it is an exceptionally Saharan summer it’s a good idea to change them more often than the typical “one and done” approach. A clogged filter will cause minor problems like hard starts, stalls, choking idle…and minor problems turn into major problems if left unattended.
- Windshield Wipers: A dirty windshield is an accident waiting to happen. If you can’t see the road properly, you are a commuter’s worst nightmare. Replace worn blades and periodically top off your washer fluid.
- Exterior lights: Again, a driver that cannot see the road properly… Be sure to inspect lights and bulbs and keep them in proper working order. Not only do you need to be able to see where you are going, other drivers need to be able to see you.
- Tires: Think of this as getting yourself dressed to the nines for a great party and then putting on your old worn out shoes. Not a good look. A good set of tires is like a great pair of shoes. Check your tire pressure once a month, check for uneven wear, cuts or nicks and worn out tread. Replace tires when needed; get an alignment if you notice uneven wear.
- Brakes: If you are hearing grinding or notice it takes longer or you have to put your “foot to the floor” to get your car to stop, get your brakes inspected. Do we have to say it? A car that cannot stop…yeah, it’s a no-brainer.
- Battery: Does your car seem “tired”? Windows going up or down slower than normal? Door chimes not as loud as they used to be? Could be your battery. A weak battery can only be checked by a pro so get an appointment with one soon. A car that has a dead battery is the equivalent of getting that awesome remote control toy at Christmas; batteries not included.
Of course, even with proper precautions, your car is still a machine and machines have breakdowns, so our last piece of advice is to carry an emergency kit. You can modify this to fit your personal needs and your travel habits, but at the very least you should carry a first aid kit, flares, flashlight and water. If you tend to drive shorter distances, like back and forth to work, and keep relatively close to civilization, these items should be enough to keep you safe until help arrives. If you’re more of a wanderer and like to go where the road takes you, you may want to include some non-perishable food items and maybe even a good book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suzi Cuff is an apiring novelist, and guest blogger for The Official Blog of Easton Motors. You can click here to learn more about Suzi and her work with the company.