The drive to work, a relaxing day at the beach or other fabulous summertime excursions shouldn’t be threatened because your ride is unreliable. The summer can be harsh on your vehicle and requires a little extra attention.
“Without spending a lot of money you can keep your car running smoothly and prevent major breakdowns and repairs,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent car insurance agency.
Some maintenance can be done by knowledgeable DIYers while some upkeep, will require a skilled automotive technician.
AC-A fully operational air conditioning system is essential. A moderately operating AC system will fail you in the heat. Have a qualified professional check that it is functioning properly.
Cooling System– “The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating,” says The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence ASE. Your cooling system should be flushed and refilled every 24 months. A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is recommended. Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has completely cooled, wait at least 30 minutes. The condition of the driver belts, clamps and hoses should be checked by a pro.
Oil-Most technicians advise you to change your oil every 3,000 miles, but check your owner’s manual for how often your oil and oil filter need to be changed.
Windshield wipers-Dirty windshield wipers can cause eye fatigue, creating a dangerous driving situation. Make sure to replace worn out blades and have plenty of washer fluid in the reservoir.
Lights-Check that your lights are working properly and replace burned out bulbs. Keep them free of dirt and bugs. Never use a dry rag when removing dirt or insects from your lights, it can cause scratching.
Battery-Excessive heat can shorten the life of a battery. Car and Driver Magazine reports heat can cause battery fluid to evaporate, damaging the internal structure of the battery. Keep the top of the battery clean, dirt can be a conductor, which drains battery power.
Keep it clean-Wash your car every week to prevent exterior damage from the sun, UV radiation, salt, air pollution and acid rain.