Summer is synonymous with road trips, beach days and barbeques. There’s one thing most of us need to enjoy these activities: a car. Winter can take a toll on your vehicle. Summer is the ideal time to perform vital maintenance tasks that will keep your car running in tip top shape.
Here are seven maintenance tasks you shouldn’t ignore.
1. Re-inflate the Tires
Air pressure can be affected by storms and outdoor temperatures, which can impact your tire pressure. Air is constantly leaking from your tires, slowly and steadily.
For every one PSI drop in tire pressure, you lose 0.4% gas mileage.
Re-inflating your tires at least twice per year can help prevent this from happening. And if you use seasonal tires, spring or early summer is the time to switch them out.
Along with saving you money at the pump, keeping your tire pressure at the right level can help prevent tire failure, which can lead to an accident. In 2015, there were 914 motor vehicle fatalities in Illinois alone. Faulty vehicle parts contribute to many of these accidents.
2. Check and Replace Fluids
Summer is a good time to have your fluids checked and replaced if necessary. Check to see if any fluids are leaking or breaking down.
If you can time it right, you may also want to get your oil changed.
3. Inspect the Coolant System
A car’s coolant system can take a beating in the summer. The engine runs much hotter than the outdoor temperature regardless of how warm the weather gets.
If you live in a cooler climate, your vehicle’s coolant system doesn’t have to work as hard during the winter. The summer heat can shock the system, so have it checked before the heat waves roll in to ensure there are no issues.
4. Inspect the HVAC System
Just like the coolant system, your car’s HVAC system doesn’t work as hard during the winter months. When warmer temperatures arrive, it’s important to run your A/C for 10-15 minutes to work out the kinks and get rid of strange smells.
If something seems off about the A/C, even after running it for a while, have the air ducts and A/C system looked at by a mechanic.
It’s easy to forget to wax your vehicle, especially during the winter months. But between the salt used on the roads in the winter and the hot summer temperatures, your car’s paint can suffer greatly.
As a general rule of thumb, you should be waxing your vehicle once per season, or about every three months.
6. Check the Radiator
Salted winter roads can corrode the radiator’s core, which can cause leakage and an overheated engine. This is a job for a mechanic.
Mechanics will be able to check for clogs and damage, and also flush the cooling system if necessary.
7. Test the Battery
Cold weather can drain your vehicle’s battery. The heat can be just as harsh. Hot temperatures can cause battery fluid to evaporate, which can eventually lead to corrosion.
Have your mechanic look at your battery to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape.