It’s summertime, and that means it’s road trip time! But before you head out on vacation, make sure your car is ready for the long, hot journey. The best thing you can do is bring your vehicle to Scott’s Fort Collins Auto for an oil change and tune-up. Between visits to our garage, keep your car running well with these DIY car tune-up tips for summer.
Clean the Battery Terminals
Hot weather and long summer road trips put a strain on your battery. To keep it healthy, clean the battery terminals this summer. It’s easy – first, disconnect the cables and sprinkle some baking soda on each terminal. Then, spray lightly with water. Let the paste sit for an hour, and then wipe it away with a damp sponge.
If your battery isn’t holding a charge well, visit Scott’s to have your battery tested for free. If you decide to replace it, we’ll help you select the right type for your make and model of car.
Use a Sun Shade
When you park in direct sunlight, your car heats up fast. Not only does this make the interior uncomfortable, but it leads to cracks in your dashboard and leather upholstery. A sun shade reflects heat away to make the temperature more bearable and protects your car’s leather interior.
Top Off the Coolant
Cars are designed to run hot, but coolant is necessary to prevent the engine from overheating. Check under the hood and make sure the antifreeze is topped off. If you need to add more, remember to use a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water. You can buy premixed coolant, but if you have an empty container, you can perform the measurements yourself at half the cost.
If you notice a puddle under your car after being parked for a while, chances are it’s a coolant leak. Bring your vehicle to Scott’s for a cooling system repair and radiator flush if necessary.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Keep an eye on your tire pressure all summer long, especially right before taking a road trip. Use a simple gauge to ensure the pressure matches the recommended PSI listed in your owner’s manual or the inside of the driver’s door. If the pressure is too low, the tires bulge outward and put excessive pressure on the sidewalls. With enough heat and speed, the tire could blow. If the pressure is too high, the tires don’t make adequate contact with the road, which could lead to hydroplaning during summer rainstorms.
Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades
While Fort Collins summers are often dry, afternoon rainstorms are still commonplace. To ensure adequate visibility, replace your windshield wipers when they start to chatter, leave streaks, or take several passes to clear away water droplets. If you buy a set of windshield wipers from Scott’s, we’ll install them for free!
Trade Out Your Winter Tires
If you haven’t done so already, swap out your winter tires for summer or all-season tires. Winter tires are heavy and lower your fuel efficiency in the summer.
Did you hold onto your all-season tires from last summer? Come to Scott’s, and we’ll reinstall them on your car. If you need new tires, we have a great selection from some of today’s most trusted brands, including Goodyear, Michelin, Firestone, and many others.
Check Hoses & Belts
These components are necessary to keep the radiator and fans running correctly for engine cooling purposes. To prevent broken hoses and snapped belts from leaving you stranded, check them regularly.
Hoses should feel firm, not soft and malleable. Connections should also be tight, and the hoses should be free of cracks and other damage. Belts can start to split as they age. Check them for excessive slickness and other signs of wear. If you need a damaged belt or hose replaced, bring your car to Scott’s as soon as possible.
Visit Scott’s for a Car Tune-Up
Summer is a great time to give your vehicle a little extra attention so it can make it through another dry, hot summer here in Northern Colorado. While following these DIY car tune-up tips certainly makes a difference, plan to stop by Scott’s Fort Collins Auto for an oil change and tune-up before the summer is out. We’ll make sure your travels are safe and comfortable for many months to come.