Beat the Heat: Vehicle Maintenance Tips for Summer
Extreme heat can take a toll on your car’s most important systems. If your summer calendar is filled with travel and road trips, then car trouble is the last thing you want. The most common summer car problems like engine overheating, flat tires, tire blowouts, and more can be easily avoided with these maintenance tips.
Check Your Tires’ Air Pressure
Winter conditions may have done damage to your tires. Before embarking on a long summer road trip, be sure to inspect your tire pressure. Look for signs of under-inflation or over-inflation. Optimal tire pressure can prevent a flat tire or tire blowout. In addition, optimal tire pressure maximizes gas mileage, which comes in handy for long car rides.
Top Off Engine Fluids
Seasonal weather shifts can often lead to low engine fluids since warm summer temperatures will thin and even evaporate fluids. When the summer heat finally kicks in, you will want to top off your transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid. Coolant is particularly important to check during the summer months because it keeps your vehicle’s engine from overheating.
Get an Oil & Filter Change
Getting your oil and filter changed is one of the simplest ways to increase the longevity of your vehicle. Oil lubricants keep your engine safe from wear and tear, and the oil filter helps remove contaminants from your car’s engine oil. Your oil should look smooth, glossy, and somewhat transparent. If it is sludgy, too thick and dark, grainy, or full of dirt particles, then it is time for an oil change. Dirty oil can lead to serious, costly problems for your vehicle.
Test Your Brakes
After experiencing months of harsh winter conditions, it is important to check your brake’s performance before embarking on long travel. Listen for squealing or growling sounds when testing your brakes. In addition, you will want to see if your brakes “pull” or if your vehicle pulls to one side when you press the brake pedal. If you notice any signs of poor or subpar performance, then it may be time for a formal inspection and potentially a repair.
Rotate Your Tires
Not all four tires on your vehicle will experience the same rate of wear and tear. Rotating your tires (usually with every oil change or about every 3,000-5,000 miles) will help even out the wear on the tires. It spreads the wear evenly across your tires, which evens the tread life. Better tread wear and tread depth will improve your vehicle’s performance, including braking.
Keep Your Engine Cool
Every car had a cooling system that removes heat from the engine to maintain proper temperatures. The cooling system is comprised of coolant, hoses, a thermostat, a radiator, and water pump. If the temperature gauge indicates that the engine is overheating, pull over and wait for your engine to cool down. Turn off your vehicle and wait for 10 minutes. Open the hood of your car to allow the heat to clear out more quickly.
Park in the Shade
On days with high heat indexes and full sun conditions, try to park your vehicle in the shade. The sun can damage your car’s exterior and heat up your car’s interior, such as the steering wheel or leather seats. When possible, parking in the shade is better for you and your car.
Have questions about making your engine summer ready? Don’t hesitate to give us a call!
Contact Crossley’s Machine Shop
Is your engine running sub-par? Crossley’s Machine Shop knows how to help. Whether it’s an engine rebuild, repair, or replacement, our experience and expertise will increase your engine’s horsepower, performance, and reliability. Call us at 570-784-1661 or email us at [email protected] to discuss our services or a project with us.
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