How To Prepare Your Car For The Summer

We may be ready for summer but is your car? After a long winter, your car may not be ready for a hot summer. Read more to make sure your car is ready for windows down weather.

How To Prepare Your Car For The Summer

 

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We are all clearly ready for summer. The warm air, the sun shining, beach days, outdoor activities, etc. How nice will it be when we can finally drive with the windows down and feel the summer breeze floating around our faces. We are ready, but are our cars ready? They have been operating on cold, winter air for months now and barely feeling anything close to warmth.

Because of that, we overlook some of the things that may need to be fixed or updated that will be used more when the warmer weather truly hits. Our cars are completely different in the winter and in the summer and we must prepare for both seasons.

Here’s a few ways you, or a professional, can prepare your car for the summer weather and ensure that there will be no breakdowns due to the toll taken on your vehicle.  

  • Air Conditioning

    • A slightly operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system.

    • The best way to check your AC yourself, before taking it into to be professionally examined, is to test it. Go on a decently long drive (20-30 min) and blast your AC, if you feel it is not cold enough then it definitely won’t be cold enough when you really need it.

  • Cooling System

    • The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is usually recommended.)

    • DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

  • Oil Change and Battery Testing

    • Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual more often (every 3,000 - 5,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.

    • The rise in the temperature can take a toll on your battery. Get ahead of the problem by taking it to the auto store to have it tested. Most of the time it can be tested for free. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to one of the main components in your car being able to start.

  • Filters

    • Replace other filters (air, fuel, etc.) as recommended more often in dusty conditions.

    • Replacing filters helps to prevent your system from working harder than it has to. It also improves the air quality inside of your car.

  • Windshield Wipers

    • A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.

  • Lights

    • Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

  • Tires

    • Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they're cold before driving for any distance.

    • Don't forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition.

    • Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.

  • Brakes

    • Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.

  • Emergencies

    • Carry some basic tools including a first aid kit, flares, and a flashlight.

    • Additional items can include but are not limited to: a blanket, pressure gauge, water/food, air-pump, fix-a-flat kit, a window-smashing or seat belt cutting tool.

    • Also, a quirky tip my grandma always told me is to always have a $20 under your floor mat. You never know when you may need money in a pinch and you’ll always have gas money.

BONUS: Keep your car clean and waxed for maximum protection against the sun’s harsh damaging rays.

Hopefully these few tips will help you to prepare your car for the summer and ensure no breakdowns or overheating. Also, if you ever have car troubles, or just flat out need auto insurance, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Call us anytime during our office hours at 203.237.7900 or click here to visit our webpage and get a quote! 

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