Tune Up for Summer – Auto Care Tips To Beat the Heat
Tune Up For What? Summertime in St. Louis!
Summer is fast approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about preparing your vehicle for the hot summer months ahead. Whether you’re planning a summer vacation or gearing up to enjoy the open road on those sunny summer days, you’re going to want your car to be in tip-top traveling shape.
Taking your vehicle in for a little summer maintenance can help you avoid car trouble and keep your summer plans from veering off the road. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your vehicle is safe and reliable for all of your summer outings.
#1 – Don’t Be Without Air Conditioning in 100 Degree Weather
Let’s face it. Rolling down the windows only gets you so far when we’re talking about the sweltering heat of summer. The last thing anyone wants to do is drive around in 100 degree weather without air conditioning. Check your vehicle for old or damaged belts and make sure your system is free of dust and debris. For location and replacement intervals, be sure to check your owner’s manual.
#2 – Don’t Let Your Engine Be Without It’s AC – Check Your Cooling System
Just as you’re feeling the warmth of the sun inside the car, the exterior of your vehicle is also heating up. Many summer breakdowns are caused by overheating, so it’s important to flush and refill your vehicle’s cooling system once a year, while periodically checking the level, condition, and concentration of the coolant.
#3 – Squealing Brakes Don’t Make For Good “Windows Down, Radio Up” Summer Jams
People are going to be out enjoying the weather, which means there are going to be more cars to watch out for on the road. To avoid accidents and injuries, your vehicle’s brake system needs to be ready to perform those quick stops. This summer, you’ll probably have your windows down and your music up, but the irritating sound of squealing brakes can really ruin your favorite summer jams. Check your owner’s manual for recommended inspections, and if you’ve been putting off having those pulsing, grabbing, or mushy brakes checked out, it’s time to make an appointment.
#4 – Check Your Treads & Don’t Get Stranded, Roadside With A Blown Tire
Be sure to check your tire pressure, especially before heading out on a long road trip. If it’s been about 5,000 miles since your last tire rotation, have them rotated now to avoid cutting into your summertime fun. Finally, have a professional inspect your tires before hitting the hot pavement. It’ll help you know whether or not your tires are ready for the road ahead.
#5 -Be Thorough and Know Before You Tow
Rhyming aside, if you’re going to be towing a boat or camper this summer, it’s important to inspect your car as well as the object you’re towing. Make sure all lights are working properly and that your hitch is secure. If you’re not sure about the towing weight for your vehicle, check out the legal guidelines for your car’s gross vehicle weight (GVW) before towing.
#6 – Check Your Lights Before You Start Cruising Those Late Night Drives
Night cruises during the summer can be extremely fun, but they can also be dangerous without proper lighting. Check and replace burnt out lights and bulbs. To keep lenses clean, use a wet rag to remove insects, dust, and dirt.
#7 – Upgrade Your Wipers and Don’t Let Bugs & Dirt Ruin Your Road Trip
Long drives, dirt, dust, and heavy summer rain showers can really dirty up your windows. Replace worn blades on your vehicle and fill up the windshield washer solvent to keep your line of vision clean and clear.
#8 – Engines Hate Friction & Heat, So Keep Up On Your Oil Changes
If you’re planning on going on a long trip, towing a trailer, or carrying a lot of luggage in your vehicle, the oil may need to be changed more frequently. Otherwise, follow the guidelines for oil changes in your owner’s manual.
#9 – Plan For The Best. Be Prepared For Emergencies.
Preparing and emergency kit is a great way to make sure you’re prepared for anything on the road. Along with a spare tire and basic tools, pack water bottles, a blanket, first aid kit, flares, and a flashlight in your trunk. In case of an emergency, you’ll be glad you did.
#10 – Don’t Put It Off. Seriously, don’t.
Preventative maintenance is much, much cheaper than repair! Have your vehicle inspected by a professional and make sure your car can keep up with your summer plans. If you have any questions or you’re not sure whether you need service or not, we have ASE Certified technicians that are here to help. Don’t get caught on the side of the road this summer. Schedule an appointment for any necessary summer maintenance on your vehicle today!