While you may be happy that summer is here and you get to enjoy time at the beach and all, the heat brings its own set of challenges for your vehicle. This is why it is essential to take care of your car to ensure it performs optimally.
To prepare your vehicle to deal with the hot weather conditions and prevent high bills later, run through these car maintenance tips before driving on those hot summer days.
1. Check your coolant
During summer, the work of your coolant to cool down your vehicle triples. As important as it is to keep our bodies cool in the scorching heat, it’s also beneficial for your car. In addition to keeping your vehicle from overheating, the coolant guards against corrosion and also lubricates your water pump. The coolant also provides sufficient cooling to the interior of your car.
Over time, the coolant usually degrades and loses its effectiveness, so you should start by inspecting the coolant fluid level and fill it up as you need. Once the coolant is up to level, next check the coolant reservoir and the hoses. Ensure there are no leaks, especially at the connector points and joints where the hose and the engine block connect.
If you can remember the last time you changed your coolant, you can use an anti-freeze tester to determine the quality of the coolant. It would also help squeeze the coolant hoses often gently, and if they feel soft, it may be time to change them. Hoses should generally feel firm when pressed.
2. Check all your fluids.
Ensuring that your vehicle is ready for the hot weather is essential. And one of the things that should be on your checklist is the crucial fluids. These are fluids such as oil, brake fluid, power steering, and windshield washers. It is also important to remember that these are used throughout the entire year and gradually lose their effectiveness or dry up.
Start by checking the oil levels in the engine by using a dipstick. If the levels are low, top up with high-quality oil that’s recommended for your vehicle. Once the oil levels are filled next, you should check your windscreen washer reservoir and add a UV-resistant cleaning solution to the mix.
The brake fluid is easy to tell if they are running low because when you use the brake, you will notice the brakes are lacking bite or feel spongy. If you feel that, then you may need to have a system bleed performed before replacing the brake pads.
3. Adjust the tire pressure
The air inside the tires usually expands and contracts the entire year: the cooler the temperatures, the more air you need for your tires. And the opposite occurs during the warmer months because the air in the tires expands.
If you overcompensated during the colder months, this would place additional pressure on the tires leading to less surface traction and adhesion. Increasing or decreasing the tire pressure according to the weather increases your safety on the road.
The best way to adjust your tire pressure is to go to a service station and use one of those automated air refill units. Before adjusting your tire pressure refer to your car’s manual to determine the optimum pressure and temperatures. Once you know the number, you tap it on the digital display, and the auto refill machine will do the rest for you.
If you are doing this manually at home, ensure that you use a foot pump with a pressure gauge to avoid overfilling the tires. Increase the tire pressure during winter and reduce it during the summer months.
4. Clean the air filters
During autumn and winter, plenty of debris can enter the air filters and block them. These blockages are usually caused by decomposing leaves or organic matter. They not only block the air filters, but they can clog the washer nozzles of the windshields. Modern vehicles have filters that filter out pollen and pollution so ensure you check those too.
You can start cleaning the air filters by removing any debris you see to give you clear access to the air filters. If your air filters look blocked, remove them and give them a thorough clean using compressed air. Please don’t use any water as this will cause the debris to stick to the air filters.
Most modern vehicles have cabin filters, which are usually easy to remove and clean, ensuring that they are free from dust, dirt, or debris. If you are not sure how to clean, the air filters take your vehicle to a professional.
5. Check your air conditioning system.
Air conditioning is a lifesaver when summertime is at its peak, with high temperatures providing a cool flow of air in the interior of your vehicle. Most likely, you haven’t used the AC throughout the winter, and you may have leaks allowing the refrigerant to escape. Nothing is worse than turning on your AC to discover it is not working when you need it most.
Unless you know what you are doing, the best option is to take your car to the auto shop if you notice the air conditioner is not working. If you have any leaks in the AC, ensure your mechanic repairs it before recharging the AC system. While you wouldn’t usually use the AC during cooler months, ensure you turn it on often to avoid it failing when you need it.
6. Install sunshades
The sun can rapidly heat the interior of your car well beyond safe limits. Even during early spring, temperatures inside a car can go beyond 50 degrees Celsius. Sunshades will help prevent the amount of heat transference in your vehicle, reducing the overall temperatures in the car. They can also prevent the seats and dashboards from fading.
It’s easy to find sunshades in different stores. They come in various materials like aluminum sunshades, which provide maximum efficiency. Installing sunshades is a quick and easy process. The sunshades will help protect your vehicle when you park it outside.
Ensure that you do regular checks on your vehicle to avoid any downtime or damage to your engine. If you need to buy any parts and components for your diesel engine, go to car a shop.