High temperatures, harsh sun, and long road trips make summer one of the hardest seasons on your car. Your cooling system works harder, your hoses and drive belts wear out faster, and your tires are put to the test. Thankfully, you can minimize the impact of the heat and sun by taking the proper precautions. Here are 10 tips to get your car ready for summer.
At the beginning of fall when the temperatures started to plummet, you might have put snow tires on your car. Now that winter is well and truly behind us, it’s safe to remove them. All-season tires perform better on warm, dry pavement. Plus, if you keep your snow tires on, they’ll wear out faster. Store them in the shed or garage until next winter.
Properly inflated tires ensure the ideal contact between the rubber and the road. Too much or too little air can negatively affect your gas mileage and cause the tires to wear out sooner. They are also prone to overheating, especially in hot summer weather, which could lead to a dangerous blowout on the highway. To get your car ready for summer, you should check your tire pressure today and regularly throughout the season.
Chances are you haven’t used your car AC very much over the past six months, but now that you need it again, you may discover it no longer blows cold air. Visit a mechanic to have the air conditioner recharged. This will get your car ready for summer before things really heat up.
Winter is a time of heavy windshield wiper use, so take a moment this spring to refill the reservoir. You might need it in the summer to remove dust and other debris from your windshield. While you’re at it, top off the coolant with a 50/50 diluted mixture. Having adequate coolant helps prevent your engine from overheating, making this an important step to get your car ready for summer.
Different seasons adversely affect wiper blades for various reasons. If ice and snow did a number on your windshield wipers last winter, replace them now to get your car ready for summer. Just bear in mind that heat and harsh sun can dry out the rubber, so you may need to replace the wipers again in the fall.
Car batteries are known for giving people trouble in cold winter conditions, but high summertime temperatures actually pose a greater threat to battery longevity than wintertime lows. Have your battery tested and possibly replaced to get your car ready for summer.
If your maintenance light came on a while ago, but you have been putting off service due to chilly temperatures, now is the time to get an oil change. A knowledgeable mechanic will know what type of oil your car needs to perform at its peak. Keep a quart on hand in case you need to top off the oil while on a summer road trip.
Road salt and deicing grime are hard on your car’s paint, clear coat, and undercarriage. Now that these treatments are over for the season, it’s the ideal time for a wash and wax. You can use a professional service, or you can do it yourself.
While it’s a good idea to detail the inside of your car once a year or so, the components that likely need the most attention are the floor mats. If you have synthetic rubber mats, you’re in luck. These are designed to withstand the rigors of bad weather, so you can simply hose them off and let them dry. Carpeted mats may need more thorough vacuuming and shampooing to look more like new again.
Winter emergency kits are comprised of blankets, warm clothing, shovels, and other equipment you won’t need when the weather is warm. Remove these from your car in the spring. Also, make sure you refill and refresh any items you used up in the winter, such as food and water, matches, flares, batteries, duct tape, tire sealant, and first aid supplies. Then, double check that you have jumper cables, a flashlight, sturdy shoes, leather gloves, and sunscreen on hand in case of an emergency.
Our ASE certified mechanics can help you with most of the tasks on your list to get your car ready for summer. Whether you need a simple tune-up, or it’s time for a major engine overhaul, we have you covered. While we’re looking after your car, we’ll take care of your transportation needs as well with a free loaner car for a qualified minimum repair.
To schedule the car repair or maintenance services you need, please set up an appointment online or call us at (970) 682-4202. You can also stop by our Fort Collins or Loveland locations anytime between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday or until 1 pm on Saturday.