5 Summer Car-Care Tips to Keep the Heat From Putting a Damper on Your Road Trip
It’s hot out. Whether you love summer or long for cooler days, the heat is here to stay for a while. And you’re not the only one affected by warm temps.
Your vehicle can be pushed past its limits. Here’s what you need to know to keep from being stranded this summer.
1. Your battery needs to be prepped for the heat.
Ever wondered what a battery’s worst enemies are?
Heat and vibration.
Of course, you can’t do much about the temperature, but you can make sure your battery is mounted properly so excess vibration doesn’t cause wear more quickly than it should. A loosely-mounted battery combined with heat is a recipe for disaster.
2. Make sure your engine stays cool.
Your vehicle’s cooling system has the big job of keeping your engine cool so it doesn’t overheat. That means you and your trusty mechanic need to keep an eye on coolant levels to make sure they’re adequate for the hot weather.
The cooling system will also need to be flushed periodically – at the direction of your owner’s manual and your mechanic.
3. Your tires need to be properly inflated.
If your tires are under-inflated, they can overheat, especially when they’re being driven on hot roadways. Overheated tires can blow out.
It’s not only a hassle, but it’s also potentially dangerous.
You should check your tire pressure at least once a month, some people choose to do it each time they fill up with gas.
And don’t forget to keep the spare inflated! The only thing worse than a blowout is having a blowout with no working spare!
4. Keep the driving environment comfortable.
The truth is, it’s hard to stay alert when the temperature inside your vehicle is less-than-ideal. When your air conditioning isn’t working properly, you’ll get fatigued more quickly and that’s just not safe.
When your AC doesn’t seem to be putting out the cool air as it should, it’s time to have the refrigerant levels checked. The issue may be something as simple as needing some added fluid. It’s best to have a skilled auto technician check things out in case there’s a bigger problem.
5. Always be prepared.
Despite your best efforts, a breakdown can happen. You’ll be in much better shape if you’re prepared.
You need to have a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle at all times.
It should contain:
- Non-perishable food items.
- A flashlight (with extra batteries).
- A set of jumper cables.
- Road flares.
- A simple tool kit.
- A first-aid kit.
Better safe than sorry
Summertime is a great time to travel. But you have to make sure your car is ready for the heat. Let your trusted mechanic have a look at your vehicle before the serious heat hits.