Many people bring their vehicles in for a tuneup before cold winter weather arrives. But regular maintenance during the summer months is just as important, especially if a road trip is on your calendar. Here’s a basic car care checklist to ensure a smooth ride this summer.
Tires If your vehicle doesn’t have an internal sensor, manually check your tire pressure on a regular basis. Keep in mind that the air in your tires expands in hot weather. Over-inflation can affect handling and could possibly cause a blowout. Look on the label in the door jamb of your vehicle or consult the owner’s manual for the recommended inflation. Be sure to check your tires for wear as well. Low tread can increase the risk of hydroplaning on wet roads. Here’s a simple test from Goodyear Auto Service to check tread depth.
Headlights, taillights, brake lights and blinkers Heavy summer rains and foggy conditions that are common with high humidity can hamper visibility. In these conditions, you want to make sure others can see you. Make sure all lights are functioning and visible. If your headlights are cloudy or yellowed, there are a number of products on the market that can improve their brilliance.
Windshield wipers Changing out your windshield wiper blades is one of the easiest do-it-yourself auto maintenance jobs there is. And the return on investment is pretty impressive when you compare the improvement in visibility and the low cost of replacement blades. In short, there’s no excuse for anyone to have poor or non-functioning windshield wiper blades.
Brakes Summer is the season of road construction. And with road construction comes a lot of stop and go traffic, with many of those stops coming up on you in a hurry. Make sure your brakes are in tip-top shape. Have them inspected by a professional if you notice stopping distances increasing, hear noises when braking or your brakes seem spongy.
Battery Most people think winter is the culprit when it comes to dead batteries but summer heat is more likely to shorten battery life. Both overcharging and undercharging can damage a battery. Make sure your electrical system is charging at the correct rate.
Oil Regular oil changes are a must year-round. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended frequency. However, if you do a lot of trailer towing or start-and-stop driving in extreme heat, you may want to bump up the frequency of your oil changes during the summer months.
TIP FOR DO-IT-YOURSELFERS
If you’re the do-it-yourself type and like to do your own auto maintenance, an Armor All Cargo Liner does double duty as a maintenance mat. It protects your knees, back and keister from cold, hard concrete and your driveway and garage floor from drips, spills and stains. Available in a variety of sizes, there’s one to fit your specific needs.