It won’t be long before the kids are out of school and embarking on their summer vacation. And with summer vacations come the family roadtrips.
Before heading on down the highway, be sure to check out our list of six “must dos” to prepare your car for the journey:
- One of the greatest causes of summer engine problems is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled once a year. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically as well. It is usually recommended to use a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. Also never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! It is also recommended to have the tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses checked by a service professional.
- The filters are another very important part of vehicle maintenance. Air, fuel, transmission, and of course the oil filter are just a few examples of filters that should be changed frequently, and especially before summer begins. The oil filter’s being the main filter for the blood and lifeline of a vehicle. Non maintenance of these and other filters can cause a vehicle to idle roughly, diminish the power of the vehicle, start harshly, and in a worst case scenario, cause the vehicle to stall.
- Don’t neglect the importance of a car battery. The batter can fail at any time, but routine care such as scraping away corrosion from posts and cable connections, cleaning all surfaces, and re-tightening of all connections can assist in a long lasting battery life. If battery caps are removable then it is recommended to check the fluid levels monthly. It is also a good idea to avoid direct contact with corrosive deposits or battery acid, and to wear eye protection and rubber gloves while doing routine maintenance.
- Moreover, tires should be rotated about every 5,000 miles, and checked for correct pressure on a monthly basis. Always check tires while they’re cold, or before driving for any type distance no matter how short or long. Don’t forget to check the spare as well as the jack to insure they are in good working condition. There is nothing worse than getting a flat tire and not having the correct tools to take care of it. In addition, check the tire for any tread wear; uneven wearing, cupping, and check the sidewalls for any nicks or cuts.
- The added heat of summer can increase the wear of the braking system. Brakes and routers also need to be checked according to the vehicle owner’s manual. To help with vision during the summer, it is recommended to replace worn out wiper blades, and to have plenty wiper fluid available. In addition, inspect the vehicles lights and bulbs. Periodically clean dirt and insects from the lenses to assist with night time driving and helps prolong equipment.
- Last but not least is the air conditioning system, which when driving in the summer is almost always a necessity in Florida or the south. An air conditioning system that is barely operating will most likely fail in hot weather. It is recommended to have the system examined by a qualified service technician. Some newer model vehicles even have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. It is recommended to check the owner’s manual for location and replacement intervals.
Source: Insurance News Net