Now that the warm weather has finally arrived, driving takes on new meaning with road trips, scenic drives and just cruising around in the warm glow of the sun. But a rainy and cold winter takes a toll on your vehicle and leaves your car in need of some helpful and simple maintenance.
Wherever you decide to go, you want to get there safe and sound. So make sure that your car is prepped for the warm weather before you head out. Check out these tips to make sure your vehicle is prepared for the warmer spring and summer weather.
Check the cooling system. Overheated engines are the No. 1 cause of preventable breakdowns during the warm summer months because it is especially easy for a car to overheat during this time. Keep air flowing freely by cleaning debris from the radiator fins and the air conditioning condenser. Be sure to top off the radiator’s coolant. The coolant circulates thru the motor and circulates thru the radiator which takes the heat out of radiator and it takes the heat out of the engine. If your car overheats pull over and call somebody.
Pay attention to your air filter. Replacing a dirty air filter can increase a vehicle’s life expectancy and fuel efficiency by reducing the strain on the engine, especially during warmer months. Driving with a clean air filter can save you up to 38 cents per gallon.
It’s best to replace the filter every two years or every 24,000 miles, and if you do it yourself, it will only cost about $10-$15. Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable with the DIY method, have it done by a professional.
Be sure to check all of your car’s fluid levels. This includes the engine, transmission, cooling system, power steering, brake fluid and washer fluid. When it is time to replace them, be sure to purchase high-quality fluids to help improve the performance and dependability of each function. In addition, regularly changing old fluids will go along way in helping your car to remain weather friendly.
Right when the season changes is a good time to get your car’s oil changed. Upgrading your oil to a high-performance synthetic motor oil may help to improve your car’s overall health, so don’t cut any costs when it comes to buying oil for your car. Oil is the most important fluid, coolant being the 2nd most important.
Keep aware of the condition of your tires and when they start getting tread worn. As temperatures change, so can tire pressure. Tires should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer recommendations printed on the vehicle door placard or in the glove box. Over-inflation can lead to premature or irregular tire wear and under-inflation reduces a vehicle’s fuel efficiency by an average of 3.3 percent.
After enduring what was most likely a harsh winter and coping with wet spring weather, it is a bad time to have low treads. The lower the tread depth, the less traction on wet roads, and the greater the distance needed to stop. It is imperative that the tires on a vehicle are in good working order.
Belts and Hoses
Make sure that your belts and hoses are in good shape and inspect them after adding fluids. A problematic belt may cause the engine to overheat. A hose may need to be replaced if it has any cracks or corrosion. Always keep an eye out for blistered, hard or spongy hoses and have them replaced immediately.
Keep these rules of the road in mind. Just a little bit of maintenance will give you miles of worry-free driving.
And of course, you can bring you car into American Auto Care any time and request a free 30-point inspection, and we will check all of these things plus more for you.