Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic will take their tolls on your vehicle. Follow these tips to ensure optimum wellness of your car:
Air Conditioning: Have your air conditioning inspected by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your car manual for the replacement interval.
Antifreeze/Cooling system: The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically and flushed as specified in your manual.
Oil: Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual (every 5,000 - 10,000 miles), more often if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer. Have a certified mechanic change the oil and filter on your car to eliminate any further complications with your vehicle.
Engine performance: Replace your car’s other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended, and more often in dusty conditions. Get engine problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected by YourMechanic. Problems with your vehicle are amplified by extremely cold or hot weather.
Windshield Wipers: A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and make sure you’re stocked with plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Tires: Have your tires rotated every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Check tire pressure once a week, while they're cold for the most accurate measurement. Don't forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Have YourMechanic examine tires for tread life, uneven wear, and cupping. Check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment may be warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.
Brakes: Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distances. Minor brake problems should be repaired promptly to ensure continued vehicle safety. Have an experienced mechanic replace the brakes on your vehicle if needed to ensure no serious problems arise in the future.
Battery: Batteries can fail any time of the year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment, so enlist YourMechanic to check your battery and cables before any road trip.
If you are looking to have your vehicle in top shape for the summer season, have one of our mobile mechanics go to your location and service your car.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Do I Prepare My Car for Summer? and was authored by Maddy Martin.