Prepare your car for the boiling summer
Summertime is travel time. Despite the extreme heat, you find you and your family can’t resist the lure of sunny skies and the open road. But summer’s heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic, will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. Before you hit the road for your favorite summer destinations, you can take several simple precautions to keep your family safe and save money at the pump.
You can begin with tires. Tire pressure changes with the rising temperatures — approximately one to two PSI (pounds per square inch) for every 10-degree increase in outside air temperature. Check your owner’s manual to make sure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications. Both under-inflated and over-inflated tires will put you at risk for accidents, blowouts and flats. Properly inflated tires can also increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. It’s a good idea to have a properly inflated spare.
Next check your oil and oil filter. Oil keeps hardworking engine parts running clean, smooth and cool. Cars are more likely to overheat in the summer especially with a heavy driving. Check your owner’s manual for guidance. If the oil is in a dark color or there’s a lot of dirt and grime present, it’s time for oil change and filter replacement.
Then check hoses and belts. The key to summer driving is keeping the engine cool. Thus it is critical to have a correctly running cooling system. If the hoses crack or the belts snap, the radiator-the core of the cooling system will quickly overheat, leaving you stranded.
After that, you can turn to your air filter. Take it out and give it a quick inspection to see if get clogged. Replacing a dirty or clogged air filter can improve your gas mileage.
Then you can go on with your windshield wipers. The weather in summertime is changeable. When buckets of water are beating against your windshield, you need wipers that really work, especially so at night. Visible streaks left by your wipers can be a sign for replacement. As for replacement, just take your time, read the instructions carefully and everything should work out.
The sixth one to look after will be your brakes. Your brakes are the single most important safety feature on your car. If your brakes produce a scraping or grinding noise, you should be concerned about the problem. You can have your brakes checked at any normal service shop or at a brake specialist if they are soft and mushy, hard and resistant, or have longer stopping distances.
The seventh can be the coolant and radiator. To prevent your car from overheating, we have cooling system that uses a chemical coolant, called antifreeze, and a series of pumps, hoses, thermostats and fans to keep the car at its optimal running temperature. If you have low coolant levels or a busted fan belt, your engine temperature is going to go up — and fast. Check under the hood and make sure that your coolant levels are fine.
Keep your battery clean. Hot summer is even tougher on your battery than cold wintertime. Heat poses a threat on your battery’s lifespan. Clean your battery and make sure the battery is strapped down tightly and that all connections are secure. Run a quick battery inspection at a service shop to identify the problem and get it fixed if you find there’s something wrong with your battery.
In the end, you can complete the preparation by maintaining your air conditioning that is directly related to your comfortableness. More often, you can easily sense the signs of a problem. Consult your owner’s manual for solutions. If the problem remains, have a professional check your A/C unit.