Sweltering summer days call for road trips to the beach and scenic destinations. While hot summers are great fun, they can also do a number on your energy levels, and before you know it, you're blasting the AC to cool down. You may not know this, but summers can also affect your car. With hotter than average weather predicted for the summer of 2022, it's worth preparing your car.
Keep Your Car Hydrated
Your car relies on fluids to keep it running and keep it cool. Coolant protects the cooling system, including the radiator. Over time, coolant loses its efficacy, and during the hotter months, it can lead to overheating and the erosion of pipes. It's important to change the coolant, especially before the warmer months roll around. You'll also want to check that the coolant remains topped off throughout summer.
Other fluids are also important. Oil allows your engine to run smoothly. During the summer months, oil thins out, which can lead to corrosion on certain engine parts. Prevent this with an oil change, as fresh oil is thicker and coats parts better. When the oil runs too thin and the temperatures increase, it can lead to engine failure.
When changing the coolant or oil, be sure to drain the old liquid first before replacing it.
Check Your Tires
While it's unlikely for those hot summers to melt your tires, the heat can lead to deflation. When tires are no longer at the right pressure, the combination of high internal heat and the heat from the road can lead to blowouts.
Check tire pressure regularly to remain at safe levels. And if you notice any signs of wear, like low tread or cracks, replace your tires right away.
Monitor Battery Life
Summer heat and corrosion are a match made somewhere in the fiery depths of a gurgling volcano, or a Miami beach for that matter. When the heat picks up, it's time to get under the hood and check for corrosion, especially around the connections. While you're at it, have the battery serviced. In older cars with specialized batteries, this could be replacing or topping up battery water. For newer models, this could be a recharge of the battery.
Repair Your Paint Job
It's no secret that the sun can wreak havoc with your paint job. Tiny fissures and cracks start and before you know it, little chunks of paint flake off. While looking for a shady spot is one way to protect the paint life, keeping it clean is effective too. Be sure to remove debris such as mud and leaves from the car as soon as you can. If your car doesn't have a shady spot to park during the day, you may want to consider buying a car cover.
Check Pipes, Belts, and Hoses
Plastic and rubber don't do well in the summer sun, and if the weather gets really hot, this can lead to cracks and tears. It's important to send your car for services to ensure that all your belts, hoses, and pipes are still in a good condition. Regular maintenance and replacement will ensure they remain good to go.
Keep It Cool
Your air conditioner is an essential component of a good summer road trip, and when it's no longer cooling the cabin, it's time for a technician to repair it. If not, you may put the car under additional strain by putting the AC on a higher setting than needed to keep the cabin cool. This could lead to a power drain on the engine, causing it to overheat, too.
Staying Safe During Those Warmer Months
While summers are mostly for pool parties and long vacations, they can also be a time to evaluate your car's safety. While that starts with ensuring your passengers are cool and calm, it can also be an opportunity to sharpen your skills as a driver. Summer road trips can bring forth all kinds of obstacles on the road, and our defensive driving course can help you navigate these.