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Important Summer Car Maintenance Tips

With summer in full swing, kids out of school, and vacations being planned or taken, don’t forget to give your car its summer maintenance. Your car needs to be in tiptop condition before going on that long road trip or even before towing the boat to the lake for the weekend. Here are some important summer car maintenance tips to make sure your time is filled only with fun, not car repairs.

Get the Oil Changed

Keeping your oil clean is one of the most important things you can do to keep your car’s engine in top running condition. Oil should be changed every 3,000 miles, including a new filter. Clean oil ensures a clean engine. Newer car manufacturers claim you can go longer between oil changes, but it’s best to be conservative when it comes to protecting your car investment. An oil change is cheap preventive maintenance and goes a long way in protecting you from a huge repair bill.

Re-charge the Air Conditioning

Hot weather is here, so you’ll want your car’s air conditioning to operate at its peak to keep you and your passengers cool. You know how hot a car can get when it has to sit out in the sun even just for fifteen or twenty minutes, much less all day. It’s a big disappointment to get in, turn on the AC, only to have it blow warm air on you instead of cold. You can buy the stuff to do it yourself, but why bother when you can take it in and have it professionally done?

Have the Tires Balanced and Aligned

When it’s hot out, the pavement is even hotter. Your tires are in constant contact with that pavement that can reach temperatures of 130–160 degrees or more, depending on the air temperature. This heat can cause tire blowouts and other issues. Take care of your tires by taking them in to be balanced and getting the wheels aligned. Check the air pressure in the tires regularly. Having the correct amount of air pressure in your tires is very important and can help keep your car efficient.

Test the Battery

If you plan for your car’s engine to start every time you turn the key in the ignition, keep an eye on the battery. A dead battery is no fun under any condition and particularly not if you’re on vacation or stuck in a hot parking lot somewhere. Bring your car in to a certified mechanic’s shop to have them test the battery to make sure that it is operating at full capacity.

Other Maintenance Tips for Summer

Check the fluid level in the radiator once a week or so to make certain that it is full. An overheated engine can happen any time of year, but it happens more frequently when the weather is hot. Make sure the antifreeze is adequate for the summer temps, too. Carry a windshield sun protector in the car and put it into place whenever you park. The shade not only keeps the car a little cooler, it also helps keep the dash from cracking in the heat.

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