Summer Car Care Checklist
A lot of people take their cars into the garage for a tune up and check when the weather begins to get cool in winter, but did you know that regular maintenance during the summer months is just as important? Especially if you have a summer road trip or long drive planned! We’ve talked about how to prepare your home for a hot summer, but here is our quick guide to making sure your car is ready for the road.
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If your car doesn’t have an internal sensor, you will need to manually check your tire pressure on a regular basis. Remember that air in tires expands in hot weather and over-inflation can affect handling and could cause a blowout if you are not careful. Check your user manual or ask at your local garage for the recommended inflation. You will need to check your tires for general wear and tear as well; low tread can increase the risk of you skidding in wet weather, so make sure you are within the recommended depth.
Just because it’s summer, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t going to be bad weather. Heavy rains and fog are just as likely at this time of year as they are in the winter! In these conditions, you need to be visible to other road users so that an accident is less likely, so make sure that all of your lights are in good working order. This includes brake lights, indicators, fog lights, headlights, and sidelights. If your headlights are cloudy or have yellowed, there are a number of products available on the market and on websites such as partsengine.ca.
Regular oil changes are a must all year-round, but check your owner’s manual for the recommended frequency for your specific make of vehicle. However, if you do a lot of towing or start-stop driving in the heat, you will probably want to change your oil more frequently during the summer.
Changing your windshield wipers is one of the easiest jobs you can do for yourself, without the need to go to a garage. You will probably see a huge change in your visibility as soon as you have changed them out – especially with the amount of bugs and insects which smush on the windscreen during the summer.
Many people think that winter and cold weather is the main culprit for damaging and draining car batteries. However, the heat is just as likely to shorten the life of a battery. Both overcharging and undercharging can damage these important car components, so make sure your electrical system is charging at the right rate.
There is always road construction going on in the summer, and with road construction comes a lot of starting and stopping in traffic, with many of those stops coming up on you in a hurry. Have your brakes inspected by a professional to make sure they are in the best possible condition, especially if you notice your stopping distances increasing or hear noises when you push down on the brake pedal.