Summer Car Maintenance 101

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We tend to think that winter is the time to step up our car maintenance due to the increase in rain, ice and windy conditions that many of us will experience when out on the road, and it is certainly important to look after your car during those months. However, it is just as important that you should take care of your car carefully in the summer too.

If you want to ensure your Ford is fine or your Chrysler is capable this summer, you need to be proactive about it. So, here are some of the most essential maintenance tasks you should schedule for this summer:

Replace Your Air Filter

If you’re going to be spending lots of time on those hot dusty road this summer the last thing you want is to be traveling in a vehicle which has a clogged air filter that could reduce its efficiency. So, make a point of checking out your filter to see how dirty it is and if it isn’t exactly looking it’s best, change it now. You could save as much as 10 percent of your fuel and have a much pleasanter journey by doing so.

Check the Levels of Coolant

You might love taking long leisurely drives in the heat of the summer – who doesn’t? – but the fact is that hot weather and car engines aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. If your engine was to overheat, you could be looking at a huge mechanic bill an that is why you need to check that your car’s coolant is at optimum levels. Do this regularly throughout the summer, using a 1:1 mix of antifreeze and water and ensuring that your coolant hose is well connected and free from cracks and you should be fine.

Take a Look at the Belts

Another thing that could cause your car to overheat in the summer sun is belts that are damaged. You see, the belts in your car are what makes your internal fan function, so if they are improperly connected or damaged, the fan won’t kick in and there is a very good chance your engine will get too hot to function. It’s a lot cheaper to repair the belts than it is the engine, so you know what you need to do.

Re/De-pressurize Your Tires

In the colder months, the temperatures can cause the pressure of car tires to drop a little while in hotter weather the opposite is true, so as we head into summer it’s smart to check that your tires are at the optimum pressure and to correct them if they are not. At this point, it’s also worth mentioning that you should ideally rotate your tires after every 8km driven and to have then aligned after every 30km, so if you haven’t done that yet, take the opportunity to do so and your car will be perfect for all of that summer cruising you’re about to do.

Check the Brakes

The brakes of your vehicle are one of its most vital parts, so you should be checking them regularly anyway. Ensure that they are in good condition and that they work correctly and if they don’t take them to the shop immediately – you cannot risk going for even one day with imperfect brakes because they can deteriorate pretty fast and when they do they could actually put your life at risk.

What’s the Suspension Like?

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If you’re going to be driving more in the fantastic summer weather, check the suspension and have the struts and shocks replaced if they aren’t performing as well as they could because your car will be hit hard if all is not well in that department and you’re driving a lot, especially if you’re driving offroad.

Clean the Battery

Although your battery can fail at pretty much any time, often without any real prior warning, when the roads are hotter and dustier, it is a lot easier for the battery to get dirty and stop working as a result. So, if you clean it as soon as summer starts and perhaps check on it every month throughout the season, cleaning any dirt and corrosion out of the cable connections and posts, as well as wiping its surface down, and you’ll be less likely to be left at the side of the road with a flat battery. Just make sure that when you reconnect it you do so tightly.

Check the AC Unit

There are few things worse than being stuck in traffic on a hot summer’s day only to find that your AC isn’t working as it should. If you maintain it regularly, it probably will not experience any problems this summer (although you should still check it) but if you’ve been neglecting it, it’s time to turn it on, see how it’s performing and if necessary have a mechanic check it out for leaks which can cause it to function imperfectly.

Detail Your Car

Cleaning your car and applying a fresh layer of wax to the bodywork will not only ensure that yours is one of the best-looking cars on the roads this summer, but more importantly it will ensure that your vehicle is protected from dirt, sand, grit and any other debris that is in greater abundance when the weather is hot and dry. Debris from the road can chip the paintwork and cause all manner of cosmetic issues, so don’t let that happen.

Deal with Cracks in the Windshield

For similar reasons, if there are any cracks or chips in your windshield, now is the time to fix them Although many cracks may look minor, all it takes is for a little debris to hit them wrong and they will open up and cause you a headache as well as being more expensive to deal with.

If you get on top of these tasks as soon as summer comes along, you’ll have so much more fun driving your car safe in the knowledge that it is in prim condition for the season and unlikely to give you any issues. You might just save some money too.

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