Is it us or has this summer been brutal when it comes to high temperatures? It has been HOT -- like fry an egg on the pavement hot. And while these high temps probably have you thinking of ways to keep yourself cool, it’s important to remember that your vehicle needs a little extra attention, too. The last thing you want is to break down when it’s 100+° outside. So here are some summer car care tips that’ll help keep both you and your car happy, healthy and cool.
In the hot summer months, tires are more likely to blow out, so it’s important to make sure they’ve got just the right amount of pressure. Underinflated tires put strain on your vehicle and cause it to work harder, while overinflated tires are more likely to hydroplane in wet weather. Also, be sure to pay attention to the tread on the tires. (TIP: Use the penny trick -- with Lincoln’s head facing down, put a penny in the tire tread. If you can see the top of his head, it’s time for new tires.)
The way you cool off affects both your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and overall wellbeing. So blasting your air conditioning at a super low temperature before turning it off isn’t the best idea. Instead, you should put your air on at low, steady level. (TIP: Invest in a sunshade -- it’ll keep your car cooler while it’s sitting in the sun!)
We’re not talking about water (though it’s important for you to stay hydrated, especially when it’s hot outside), we’re talking about those essential fluids that keep your car in tip-top shape. Check the levels of your coolant, oil, brake, power-steering and windshield-washer fluids, and be sure to get them filled if they’re low.
Excessive heat can be detrimental to a car battery. To be safe, have your battery checked out to see if it’s operating properly and charging at the correct rate. You should also make sure the top of your battery is clear of debris -- dirt can act as a conductor and drain battery power
No matter how well you take care of your car, there’s always the chance it could break down or overheat. That’s why it’s important to be prepared in case of an emergency. We recommend having an emergency kit to keep in your car. You should have the following items in your emergency kit: water, non-perishable food, jumper cables, a flashlight with batteries, road tools, a first aid kit and road flares. And since it’s so hot outside, it wouldn’t hurt to have a battery-powered fan to help you keep cool if you’re stranded.
This summer isn’t showing any signs of cooling down, have you made sure your car is as prepped as possible for the heat?