Is your car ready for summer?
If you’re not sure, make an appointment at your local car doctor before your next trip. Especially after the winter months, it’s important to check the all systems in your vehicle are running normally. The last place you want to be on a road trip is on the side of the road.
Use this guide to ensure critical components in your car are ready to beat the heat.
1. Ready your rubber.
Rubber is a huge component of every standard vehicle on the road today. It’s not only used for tires—the belts and hoses under the hood and windshield wiper blades are made of rubber, too! Intense summer heat can wreak further havoc on cracked rubber. If you or your technician eye any concerning damage, its best (and cheaper!) to replace a cracked serpentine belt now rather than on the side of the road.
Tires are held together by glue, and glue and sun do not mix. Whenever you see ripped treads and loose rubber on the highway, that’s the result of too much heat on the glue. If you cannot do it yourself, ask your local technicians to check the depth and pressure of your tire treads to eliminate future trouble on the road.
2. Check your battery life.
The hot sun can kill a weakened battery, so make sure you know your battery life before heading out on the road! You or your shop should inspect your battery for bulges, cracks, or leaks, as well as the tightness of the cables on the battery terminals. It’s also pertinent that the battery is fastened securely to its tray.
3. Rev(italize) your engine!
Over time, grease, oil, and fluid build-up on your engine, leading to premature replacement of rubber pieces. You can give your engine a spa day at home, a self-help car wash, or by bringing your vehicle into a detail center.
It’s simple to clean your engine at home, following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Use a high-pressure hose to spray down accumulated grime. Be sure to AVOID spraying water in the distributor and any unsealed electric components. Avoid the alternator, air filter, any uncovered wiring, and direct spray on rubber belts. You can used compressed air, such as a leaf blower, to dry off the engine. Then seal the deal with a protectant spray, letting it stand for a few minutes before drying.
Of course, treating your engine to a thorough cleaning isn’t a requirement, but it will keep the components under your hood running better and longer!
4. Make sure the AC is ready to roll.
Last, but not least, the most important component of a comfortable summer driving experience: working air conditioning! Ask your shop to pay close attention to the level of coolant fluid in your vehicle, as well as inspect the hoses and coolant reservoir for any leaks.
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