Car maintenance ensures that a car is running as best as it can. While it is costly, car maintenance is one of the necessary operating costs that prolongs a car’s quality before it can start to show signs of damage. If you’ve bought a brand-new car, you should have a manual that indicates how often you should take it to an authorized shop to undergo maintenance.
But if you’re planning on a long summer road trip or know you’ll be driving a lot during the summer season, it might be a smart choice to have your car maintained before summer starts. After all, the high temperatures and bigger chances for heavy rain may have a big effect on your car’s quality. These easy checks can help reduce the damage your car will take should you drive during the summer.
Oil and Fluid Check
Have your motor oil, lubricants, coolants, brake fluid and other fluids checked to make sure there’s enough for the long road trip ahead. While coolants generally serve to cool down your car’s engine and system, everything else like lubricants ensure that all the parts are running smoothly and don’t create unnecessary friction that can add to overheating. Other fluids that don’t have any cooling advantages should also be checked to avoid the risks of accidents in case it runs out.
Inspect Your Tires
Summer brings heavy rains and extreme heat, both of which can be dangerous if your tires aren’t performing as well. During rains, roads don’t have as much friction because water deters it, making it much more difficult to hard brake especially in emergencies. If your tire treads are worn out, it can be even more difficult to stop your car in the rain and can lead to accidents. Have your tires checked and, if they’re worn out, it’s best to have them replaced.
During hot weather, under-inflated tires can overheat faster and result in blow-outs. Check your tires’ pressure at least once a month throughout the year, but check them more frequently during the summer. It’s recommended that you check your tires’ pressure while they’re still cold to avoid getting inaccurate readings. Also, double-check your spare tire to make sure it’s still usable in case of accidents.
Check Your Air Conditioning System
When you’re driving under extremely hot condition, your car’s AC system becomes more than just a minor convenience. In the United States, heat-related deaths are one of the deadliest weather-related health issues. When a person experiences hyperthermia, they become so exposed to high temperatures that their body can no longer naturally cool itself through sweating. This can cause heat exhaustion and, if left untreated, progress into heat stroke, which can be fatal. In less severe hot weather, it can make a driver more fatigued, which can reduce their alertness behind the wheel and could lead to a serious accident.
This is why it’s important to check your air-conditioning system to see if it’s functioning as well as it can. If it’s not cooling your car’s interior as well as it did before, there might be a problem with its parts or needs more refrigerant.
Install a UV Window Tint
A 2012 study linked skin cancer with driving in the United States when it found that skin cancers were more common on the left side of drivers’ body, the side where their windows were located, than the right side. This is because UV rays could pass through the windows, thus exposing the left side of the driver’s body to it. So, if you’re planning on a long road trip or will be driving a lot during the summer, you’re exposing the left side of your body to UV rays that can cause rapid skin aging, other skin conditions, or skin cancer.
Consider investing on window tints designed to block out UV rays. While most tints won’t completely block them out, it can reduce the amount you’re exposed to when driving.
Check Your Engine
Have your engine checked by a trained mechanic to see if it requires any additional service. Your car should have a cooling system to keep your engine from overheating, but sometimes you need to have it checked to make sure there’s enough coolant to handle the additional heat from the weather. It’s highly recommended that you don’t use any other coolant except the one specified by the vehicle’s manufacturer.
Summertime provides plenty of opportunities for road trips, but it can also mean business as usual for others. Whatever your reason for driving out in the summer, it’s important to get your car checked before the summer season begins to mitigate the possible effects of extreme heat and heavy rains that are likely to occur in the upcoming months. If you’re unsure on how to handle these maintenance steps, visit your authorized auto repair shop and have it done by a certified mechanic.