Summers’s Hard on Your Car: Here’s How to Care for It

Summer’s big selling point is the warmth.

While it’s a nice respite from the chillier (and downright COLD) weather, it can take a toll on your vehicle. The day-to-day of errands, driving back and forth to work, and being a kid-taxi is bad enough. Add in a vacation or two, and you’re giving your car a workout.

As this year’s season of sun winds down, there’s still time for you to get in a last road trip. Here’s what you need to know about caring for your vehicle in the summer so it’s ready to roll when you are.

1. Make sure the electrical system is working.

Check the battery terminals to ensure the electrical system is charging properly.

2. Perform important tests.

This includes testing the thermostat, pressure levels, and visually inspecting components for leaks or corrosion.

3. Check hoses and belts.

You’re looking for anything that’s frayed, cracked, or bulging, This type of wear can cause a breakdown when you’re trying to enjoy your summer fun. Have your mechanic repair or replace any belt or hose that’s not in good working order.

4. Clean the radiator.

Dirt, bugs, and other random debris can wreak havoc on your radiator. You can handle this yourself by periodically using your garden hose and a soft brush to give it a gentle cleaning.

5. Inspect your tires.

Outdoor temps have an effect on your tire pressure. As warm days become HOT and the thermometer fluctuates, monitor the air in your tires.

Failing to do so could not only cost you more at the pump but could also be a hazard as you travel.

6. Don’t forget the outside.

With so much focus on keeping your vehicle running smoothly in the summer, caring for the outside can get lost in the shuffle.

Wash your vehicle regularly throughout the summer and give it a wax job every six months to protect your paint job.

As always, defer to the advice your owner’s manual provides because it has the most accurate information for your particular make and model.

Generally, the brake fluid should be changed every two to three years or 25,000 to 35,000 miles. Your mechanic will most likely change it during a major brake replacement, as well.

4. Cabin air filter

You can replace this filter whenever you notice that your heating and/or cooling efficiency isn’t up to par, but at least yearly. If you live in an area with a lot of airborne contaminants, you’ll have to replace the cabin air filter more often.

5. Chassis lubrication

Today’s newest vehicles come with lubrication that will last the life of the car. If your car still requires lubrication, your owner’s manual will have information about the frequency.

It’s important to note that your vehicle may need periodic lubrication if suspension or steering components have been replaced.

Summer-proof your vehicle

Properly maintaining your car throughout the summer months allows you to take a last-minute road trip before the season ends. Monitor your electrical system, keep an eye on the temperature and other important levels, clean your radiator, and check all your hoses and belts.

Last but not least, examine your tires regularly and take good care of your paint job. It may seem like a lot to think about, but you don’t have to go it alone. You can trust the expert auto technicians at Conrad’s to give you a hand.

Stop and see us before your next road trip or to ensure you get around town without breaking down unexpectedly.

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