Summer Car Care 101

Summer Car Care
Summer is upon us! If you thought that your car was in the clear, think again. Although it survived Polar Vortexes, salt and potholes, heat can cause even more damage. Before the heat is on, consumers need to take preventative measures to ensure that their cars will run properly all season long. We spoke with car enthusiasts and experts to learn what drivers need to get checked before the summer heat hits.

Check The Condition Of Your Wiper Blades

Salt, sand and ice have undoubtedly taken a toll on your wiper blades. It’s recommended that you replace them every six months, so be sure to check them out. Steve Smyth, COO of Smyth Automotive, adds, “Also be sure to top off your washer solvent and potentially change to a summer blend or ‘bug’ formula that is designed to remove insect and tar residue that can build up during summer driving. It’s also a good idea to apply a rain repellant to help any water bead up and clear from your windshield and windows quickly.”

Check Your Car’s Air Conditioning

If your AC doesn’t seem like it’s performing well, it could probably use some maintenance. “If it doesn’t feel as cold as you remember, recharge your coolant or have it inspected by a technician,” Smyth urges. “A hot car isn’t fun for anyone while on a road trip, and an unexpected visit to an air conditioning technician in a tourist destination can add up to pricey repair bills!”

Check Your Car Battery

The folks at Batteries Plus Bulbs recommend giving your battery a thorough look. “Do a visual inspection. If the battery case is cracked, leaking or bulging, it is time to replace the battery. Also, make sure the top of the car battery is clean. Corrosion, grease and dirt can impede the flow of energy and affect the charge used to start your vehicle.”

Get Your Battery Tested

The Batteries Plus Bulbs team also recommends getting your battery professionally tested. “Batteries and electrical systems should be checked every three to six months and especially before long trips. Electrical systems must be checked to make sure they are charging at the correct rate. Overcharging and undercharging can cause damage to the battery.”

Check The Tires

“Tires obviously get much hotter in the summer, so they tend to gain pressure as well,” Chuck Hawks, CEO of Teen Driving Solutions School. “This added pressure, when not kept in check can cause abnormal and potentially unsafe tire wear (especially when it rains), poor fuel economy, and ill handling. When the temperature delta between day and night is relatively large, this can also drastically accelerate the normal loss of air a tire suffers over time. Tires that have been poorly maintained may or may not look as though they have improper wear to the untrained eye, so it’s best to have them observed by a professional.”

Use The Proper Coolant Mix

“Keeping a proper coolant mix in the car is important all year, but more so in the summer months,” Hawks asserts. “Many people, especially older generations, think that if the coolant is low, we can just add water. Perhaps on much older cars, but cars of today require coolant to be a special mixture of chemicals. Adding plain water to a car with low coolant can potentially cause expensive damage and leave one stranded with a car that’s overheating.”

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