You’ve stocked up on sunscreen, beach chairs and bought a new swimsuit. You’re ready for summer. But is your vehicle? Learn how to prepare your car for summer’s heat, and how to keep it maintained the entire season. Many components of your vehicle should be checked on – tires, belts, batteries, air-conditioning, cooling system, transmission and oil. This article is going to touch of three big ones- batteries, cooling system and tires.
You would never leave a pack of AA batteries out in the sun for days on end before using them, so why would you think your cars battery is any different? Numerous things can go wrong when your battery is exposed to the heat and sun of summertime. Heat can cause the fluid with your battery to evaporate, which will damage the inner structure. This may also lead to a malfunction within the charging system. When this happens, the battery will charge at a higher rate, ruining the battery over time. To prevent any damage to your battery, always have the charge checked to make sure it is at the correct charging rate. Some batteries require you to top them off. If this is the case, you will want to add distilled water. Ask your local auto repair shop if you are not sure how to do so. Something you can do without the help of a mechanic is keeping your battery clean. When dirty accumulates on the top of the battery it can become a conductor of electricity and will eventually drain the power from the battery. Unlike dirt, any erosion on the battery will become an insulator and will not only corrode the battery, but prevent the flow of electricity.
Just like with the battery, heat can also cause damage to your vehicles cooling system. Because the engine is running in the heat, the cooling system has increased its workload to prevent the engine from overheating. Also like with the battery, your cooling system may need you to add distilled water to the coolant when running low on fluids. Always make sure you are pouring the right mixture of the two and remember to wait until the radiator cap has cooled down before doing so. Every month or so, check your cooling system for leaks, and clean the radiator. And always remember to keep an appropriate amount of antifreeze in your vehicle.
Tires are a very important component to the safety of your vehicle. They are the only things that connect your car to the road. After winters harsh road conditions, check the condition of your tires to make sure they will be able to withstand summer’s heat. Not only are the roads extremely hot, but the heat causes tire pressure to rise. To prevent any mishaps with your tire pressure, check it regularly when the tires are cold, keeping it at the pressure recommended in your maintenance manual.
Preventative measures will keep your car in top shape for any summer vacations you have planned. To learn more about what you can do for your car, research online or talk to a local repair shop.