A change in season comes with a change in environment, and your car’s performance depends on how it reacts to that environment. Summer’s heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic, will take their toll on your vehicle and could result in a breakdown. However you can reduce the odds of mechanical failures through periodic maintenance and simple checks. Follow these tips to get your car ready for summer:
Most vehicles are equipped with an air-conditioner which counts as a huge advantage in summer driving, and keeping the system up & running is vitally important. Have the air-conditioning system examined to ensure its working properly ahead of summers. Refill the refrigerant if necessary.
One of the greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of coolant and water is usually recommended.) The radiator should also be inspected and serviced before summers if needed.
Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your vehicle’s manual, usually between 3,000 to 5,000 kms depending on your driving, routes, the age of the vehicle & the state of your engine
Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good workshop.
Tires take the most beating in summers. Take a look at your tires to see if they are in top shape for summer as they have to be in contact with hot summer roads all the time. It is important to check the air pressure in your tires as it’s critical to have properly inflated tires. Proper inflation assures the best possible contact between the tires and the road. An improperly inflated/ over inflated tire can overheat, potentially leading to a blowout.
Related: Importance Of Correct Tire Pressure
Check your owner’s manual or the driver side door jamb to find the correct tire pressures. Morning is the best time to check the pressure when the tires are cold. Properly inflated tires will also last longer and improve mileage.
Don’t forget to check your spare tire as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is a must if there is an uneven tread wear or if your car pulls to one side.
Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly. Replace brake shoes if necessary.
Related: What To Do If Your Car Overheats
Batteries can fail any time of year. The best way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment, take your car to a battery shop and get it inspected. In routine care, scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces and tighten all connections. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Check the fluid level once in a month.
It’s a good idea to carry some basic emergency tools in your car. This may include a first aid kit, a flashlight, jumper cables etc. Consider carrying a car charger for your cell phone too.
Car care is definitely a win-win situation. A properly maintained and operated car will run more efficiently, will be safer, will last longer and more importantly will save you a lot of time, hassle and indeed money!