Auto maintenance is an important part of caring for your car and should not be done at just one time during the year. However, summertime is one of the busiest times of year for driving for many people as they drive to vacations and to other activities. The summer is also a time of year where the hot weather can affect the performance of your car if you have not done the proper auto maintenance that was needed during the winter months.
If you have planned some driving this summer to vacation locations or to take your kids to activities, you probably need to make sure that your car is prepared to handle your activity requirements for the coming months of summer. There are a few things that you should always do to prepare for the summer months, and this article will explain them to you so you don’t forget to do them.
If you are ready to learn more about preparing your car for summer, read on!
Preparing Your Car for Summer
1. Check Tire Condition and Tire Pressure
You should always take the time each month to inspect your tires for damage and to check the tire pressure of each tire. You do not want to be surprised by a flat tire when you are on a road trip and you will also be able to catch early signs of odd tire wear or other red flags that could indicate other issues besides the need to replace your tires.
Always look for bulges and bumps in the tires and check for the depth of your tire tread. Use a tire pressure gauge to make sure that your tire pressure is correct in each tire as well. If you need to learn how to check this important reading related to your car’s tires there are many tutorials and videos online that will show you how to do this.
2. Listen to and Feel out Your Brakes
This is an item that can sometimes sneak up on you, but you should always be listening to the sounds that your brakes are making as well as paying attention to any signs of brake wear that you experience while you are driving. It can be easy to be unaware of changes in your brake function until they start to have major issues.
If you feel like you are noticing brake fade, grinding, or pulling to one side when you step on the brakes or fluid leaks, you should make sure that these issues are addressed by replacing the brakes or taking your car in to be looked at by a professional. The hot months of the year can be very tough on brakes, and you do not want to find out the hard way that your car is experiencing a brake issue.
3. Test Your Battery
The winter can take a toll on your battery, especially if it is older. It is always a good idea to make sure that your battery does not need to be replaced before you head out on a road trip. You can test the battery yourself or you can head to an auto body shop or another location that offers this service to have your battery assessed.
If the professional looking at your battery finds that there are cable connections that need attention or that the battery is not performing up to par, they will probably recommend that you replace the battery. While batteries are a little spendy, they are crucial to being able to use your car and you should not scrimp on taking care of this part of your car’s maintenance.
4. Replace Wiper Blades and Windshield Cleaner
You might be thinking that you do not need your wipers now that it has stopped raining and snowing, but you might be shocked at how much of a mess bugs can make on your windshield. In many locations, you will still need your wipers, even during the warmer months, and summer is a good time to replace these important items before you run into problems seeing out of your windshield.
Always make sure to refill your wiper fluid reservoir and to check the quality of the rubber on your wipers at the beginning of summer. If you are hearing squeaking noises when you operate your wipers or they are not clearing moisture off like they should, it is time for new wiper blades.
5. Check on Belts and Hoses
Many people only think to check their belts and hoses when they start to make noises or if engine performance falls off. This is not a great policy as issues that are affecting your engine could go unnoticed until they become serious.
Always take the time at least once a year to check that all of the rubber belts and all of the hoses in your engine are still attached correctly and firmly. You should also look for signs of cracking, breaking or damage from wear and tear. It is always better to replace a damaged hose than to deal with a major engine repair or many months spent without air conditioning or other functionality down the road.
Preparing Your Car For Summer is Part of Basic Car Maintenance
Making sure that your car is ready for the summer driving months is a part of the regular annual maintenance of your vehicle. You should never assume that your car will not need maintenance once the ice and snow are off the roads as heat and other weather challenges in the summer can take a toll on your car’s parts just like snow and ice can.
Making sure that you have checked all of the important systems and parts of your car as the weather turns warm is a great way to keep up with routine maintenance requirements that might otherwise be neglected. Always make sure that you prepare for your summer driving plans by going over all of these items before you hit the road.