When you are getting ready for summer, don’t forget to take care of your car. It is just as important to prepare your vehicle for the hot summer months as it is to prepare for winter. For most people, summer is the time to get out of the house in the evenings, travel to a vacation spot, or go on a weekend road trip. So, naturally, it is also the time to think about seasonal maintenance, using the checklist below.
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Checklist for Summer Car Maintenance
After surviving the winter, your car needs some attention to get ready for the summer months. Maintenance step should include:
- Radiator: Get your radiator flushed and the coolant replaced to help keep the engine cool and to avoid corrosion on the inside of your radiator. Your car’s cooling system is critical to summer driving. The cooling system strives to maintain a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. In hot weather, however, it could reach as high as 250 degrees, in which case your car could overheat. Never remove a radiator cap if your engine is hot, or even warm.
- Battery: Extreme cold and wetness in the wintertime can drain your battery. Get it tested and replaced if it is weak, and remove any corrosion on the battery or terminals.
- Windshield wipers: Winter snow and ice can take a toll on your wipers. Replacing them is an inexpensive maintenance step that can improve visibility in a summer rain.
- Oil change: Your engine can work more effectively with clean oil. If your car is due for an oil change, now is the time to get it done.
- Air filter change: When you are having your oil changed, replace your air filter, as well. Salt and debris from winter roads can get caught in air filters and affect airflow into the cabin.
- Air conditioning: With lack of use during the winter months, your air conditioning may need some maintenance. Mildew buildup, a loose hose, or a compressor breakdown could make your system less effective in cooling your cab. Inspect your air-conditioning system for worn or damaged belts, as the belt drives the compressor, and without it, your air conditioning won’t work. Also, inspect the fins on your air-conditioner condenser, which looks something like a radiator, to ensure they are free of debris so that the refrigerant can cool your car more effectively.
- Brakes: Dust from snow and grit in the winter can build up in your brakes and interfere with your ability to stop or slow your vehicle. As wet brakes are less responsive, you should inspect your brakes to prepare for summer rain. Get a mechanic to check out the state of your brake pads. Hot weather can raise the temperature of your brake system and cause your pads to wear out more quickly.
- Tires: The start of summer is an excellent time to rotate your tires. Check the air pressure and tread to be ready for high temperatures and summer rain and mud. For better handling, better fuel efficiency, and more speed, mount summer tires on your car. As compared to winter tires, summer tires have less aggressive tread and shorter sidewalls. All-season tires are a good alternative if you would rather not bother with changing them out in the summer and winter.
- Transmission: Your transmission works hard to get you through snow and ice in the winter. Get your fluid levels checked and make sure everything is working properly. Signs of transmission trouble include leaking fluid, trouble shifting gears, and shaking, grinding, clunking, or whining noises.
Routine maintenance can help you keep your vehicle running right, which means a better ride on summer excursions. In case of a car crash with serious injuries, call our experienced Boulder personal injury lawyers at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, for the full-service legal help you need.