You always hear of everyone prepping their cars for the harsh winter months, but what about the vicious summer sun? Heat is as big of a threat to your vehicle as the cold and snow are. Whether you’re just driving to the store down the road or taking a road trip, you’re risking the possibility of a break down if you don’t follow these nine tips before heading out in high temperatures.
1. Test your air conditioning before it gets too hot outside. There’s nothing worse than no AC in the scorching sun. If you notice the air is coming out but not cold enough, there may be something wrong. You most likely need more refrigerant or need to replace your air filters.
2. Check your tire pressure. Drastic temperature changes can cause your tire pressure to fluctuate. If the pressure is over or under your car’s recommended PSI, your tires will begin to wear unevenly. Also, if you have summer tires, now would be the time to put them on.
3. Make sure your radiator has enough coolant. If you notice your car is running too hot by the temperature gauge on your dashboard, your coolant could be low or there may be a leak. Keeping extra coolant in your car may be a good idea if you have an older vehicle prone to breakdowns.
4. Keep up with oil changes. I know it always sneaks up on you at the most inconvenient times, but oil changes are vital to the upkeep of your car. The more you drive, the more often you should be getting an oil change. If you don’t regularly change your oil, you should at least keep extra oil in your trunk in case of a breakdown.
5. Test your battery. Car batteries can fail any time of the year, but the rise in the temperature can take a significant toll on your battery. Bring your car to your local auto store and they will be able to test it for you – most stores do it for free!
6. Double check your brakes. You don’t want to be driving around with worn out brakes. If they feel funny or make weird noises while you’re driving, you should try replacing the brake fluids or take your car to a mechanic to be checked.
7. Replace your windshield wiper blades and fluid. Your wiper blades have most likely been worn down from scraping off ice and snow. It’s also a good idea to top off your wiper fluid as more bugs will be flying around in the warmer weather and crashing into your windshield – you’re going to want to be able to see where you’re going!
8. Get a car wash. Road salt and grime from melted snow can cause severe damage to your car’s paint and undercarriage. There’s no better time to wash your car than in the warm weather. If you don’t want to spend the extra money, you could always detail your car yourself (or trick the kids into doing it).
9. Update your emergency kit. You may have tapped into your supplies over the winter and forgot to replenish them. Some essential items include a first aid kit, flares, water, and phone charger.
Even if you’ve taken all the precautions listed but still want some extra peace of mind, DriveSmart is here to help. With an auto warranty from DriveSmart, you’ll be covered for the parts and labor costs if your car ever breaks down. DriveSmart has other perks such as complimentary car rentals, 24/7 roadside assistance, and car payment reimbursement if your vehicle is in the shop for a week or more. Get a free quote from DriveSmart and don’t let the sun ruin your summer fun!