Summertime Car Care

Because we feel the effects of winter more harshly than summer, we go to extra lengths to protect ourselves with coats and hats, and gloves. Most of us make sure that our cars are ready for the onslaught of frigid winter weather too. We make sure we have snow tires, an ice scraper, and a deicer.

However, in the summer months, we can shed our heavy and restrictive coats and hats and take life easy. We also tend to be laxer with our car care too. Remember, your car needs protection and routine maintenance year-round, no matter what the temperature.

Your engine is affected by extremes of temperature. Don’t think that it isn’t hard on the engine when you sit idling in a traffic jam in 90-degree plus temperature with the air conditioner blasting away inside.

The first reason to keep up a maintenance schedule is to save yourself money in the long run. If you have a newer car in order to keep the warranty in effect you need to have it serviced according to your manufacturer’s recommended schedule.

If your car is older and out of warranty you need to be more vigilant. It’s up to you to make a service schedule for your car. Make a checklist and keep track of the following items;

Oil. This should be changed every 3,000 miles. If your car is “using” oil as the saying goes, check it every other time you fill up. Carry an extra quart of oil in the trunk. Along with an oil change, most “speedy” oil change businesses check belts, hoses, fluid levels, tires, etc.

Antifreeze. Have your car’s heating and cooling system checked at least yearly. You want to make sure you have adequate temperature protection, in summer, and winter.

Air cleaner. This should be checked at the same time you have your oil changed. A clogged air cleaner can really slow down your engine’s performance.

Brakes. If you notice any squealing of your breaks have them checked as soon as possible. It’s much cheaper to replace worn pads than it is to have to replace expensive rotors if they become worn.

Tires. The air pressure is usually checked at the same time you have your oil changed. You should also have the tires rotated on a regular basis, this can really prolong their life.

Battery. Batteries are sealed units now. Has the battery checked at least once a year?

Following these tips, all year round will help you keep your car in top running order.