Car Maintenance Tips for Summer
Your summer car maintenance checklist!
Ah, summer! It's time to get on the road and travel around the country. We're all chomping at the bit for warm weather, summer fun, and the opportunity to see new places. For that, however, we need our car to be in top shape. Extremely hot weather and long drives can be tough on a car. The results of not taking precautions before you head out can mean more money at the pump at best, and being stuck at the auto repair shop in an unfamiliar town at worst. Here are some quick maintenance tips to make sure your car is ready for summer travel.
Check Your Tires
Your tires are where the “rubber meets the road.” If they're not in shape, you won't go far. Unfortunately, many of us overlook the importance of good tire health. The wrong tire pressure can cause some serious problems. Why? When a tire is overinflated, the tread doesn't touch the ground as well as it should, meaning you get less traction. Overinflated tires also put you at risk for a blowout. Underinflated tires overheat and wear out faster in hot weather. Check your auto owner's manual or the tire's sidewall to find out what the correct tire pressure should be. Use a pressure gauge or ask your auto service folks to check and adjust the tire pressure as needed. You'll save money when you keep your tires inflated correctly.
If you must replace your tires, do if before you start your summer travel. Check your tire tread. A hot road and balding tires are not a good combination. Use the penny test to make sure your tread is good.
Check your Tires
Finally, check your spare. That's your “emergency tire.” Its tread should be deep, and it should be properly inflated. Maintenance of your tires is an easy task.
Check Your Brakes
Well, need we say more? Yes! Brakes are critical in keeping you and your family safe. If you think you have a brake problem, see a brake specialist right away. The professionals at any auto repair shop will help identify a brake-related problem. If you experience any of the problems listed below, take your car down for a brake checkup:
Warning lights on your dashboard
Grinding and scraping sounds when you press the brakes
A mushy brake pedal
A brake pedal that's very hard to press
When it comes to brakes, a small problem can escalate into a great big repair bill if you don't address it quickly. This is the most important tip for any car maintenance checklist.
Check the Oil and Fluids
Checking your oil, particularly if you have an older car, is an absolute must. To your car, oil is the “blood” that keeps that engine running at peak performance. Ideally, you should change your oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles. Remember to check your oil before you head out on a trip.
If your car has been sitting around during the winter months, perform a quick check of all fluids — transmission, power steering, differential, and coolant. Better yet, take your car down to your favorite auto repair shop for a complete checkup and oil change, if necessary, before going on a long trip.
Check your oil
Check Your Battery
Hot weather can overcharge your battery, which means your battery won't last as long. Your car battery likes “cleanliness.” If you are having problems with your battery, you can check it yourself or take it down to the auto repair shop
Need help in a pinch?
Main Street Muffler can help you with your car maintenance. Anywhere from tires and brakes to routine maintenance, we are always here to help.