Summer Tire Care
Hot weather can be rough on cars. Higher temperatures speed up a car’s wear and tear, as fluids and lubricants break down more quickly. But by following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule (see your car’s owner’s manual) and taking the following precautions, your car will be ready for a long, hot summer:
- Consider a pre-trip inspection by a qualified technician before you leave. Repairs made on the road may be more costly, and disrupt your vacation plans.
- Operationally, check the air conditioning, and inspect the belts and hoses. You may want to have a service professional inspect the entire system.
- Inspect batteries and battery cables for corrosion, cracks and dirt. Hot weather can shorten a battery’s life, so have it tested if it’s near the end of its warranty. It’s a lot easier to replace a dying battery before a trip than replace a dead one on the side of the road.
- Have your brake pads and linings inspected for wear.
- Change the engine oil and filter according to the manufacturer’s service intervals and specifications. The service technician should also check the coolant, brake, automatic transmission, windshield wiper and power steering fluids.
- Replace worn wiper blades.
- Check the air pressure in all tires including the spare to make sure they are properly inflated. Uneven or excessive treadwear are signs that it may be time for rotation or even replacement.
- Test your car’s interior and exterior lights including turn signals and high beams to make sure they work. This is also a good time to clean the lenses to get maximum visibility.
- Change your car’s air filters according to the manufacturer’s service intervals and specifications. A dirty air filter lowers gas mileage and reduces engine performance.
- A service professional should inspect the radiator, pressure cap, belts and hoses. Flush and refill the cooling system according to the manufacturer’s service intervals and specifications.
- Check your engine light. Never leave on a long trip with your car’s check engine light or malfunction indicator light lit up. This light alerts you to a malfunction if it’s on while driving your car. If this light is on, have the problem diagnosed by a qualified technician before you leave.