So, here are 8 fantastic tips for Summer-izing your vehicle. I’m no expert, but something’s just have to be done. It’s getting or should I say, staying, warmer here in the South. There are certain things that we can do to ensure the health and good maintenance of our vehicles during these hot months.
1. Most importantly, in the South is the AC! That HAS to be working because there is nothing worse than stopping at a stop light when it’s 104 degrees and the humidity is like 99% when you have no air conditioning. You start contemplating whether the ticket for running the light might actually be worth it. Because, I’ve been there and I have had the thought “if this light doesn’t turn in 5 seconds, I’m gonna HAVE to go, because I’m going to die if it doesn’t”. So, if you’ve been there you know & if not, you don’t want to know. To check you’re A/C simply run it and make sure that cool air is coming out of the vents. If not you may be low on refrigerant. It’s best to have a Certified Technician handle the repair if there is a problem with the air conditioning.
2. Check windshield wiper & Spray Nozzles-Replace cracked or worn wipers. If the nozzles are clogged, clean them & refill washer fluid….easy enough.
3. Check your tires. Be sure to check the pressure and tread depth. Excessive heat (and I think we can count on that!) causes rubber fatigue, tread separation & decreases fuel efficiency. I love fuel efficiency. *Warning-I’m throwing the “plug” out for our current Service Special.
4. Check radiator & coolant. It’s important to know, before you do this, that your car NEEDS to be cool when you check your radiator. No one likes having severe burns. The #1 cause for breakdown is overheating so make sure that you get the debris out of your radiator fins and get your coolant topped off. Doing a coolant flush & replacing the thermostat is often recommended.
5. Change engine oil, or if you have an oil life system, your car or On Star will let you know when your vehicle is ready for an oil change.
6. Check battery & cable conditions. Heat (hello again) is the leading cause of battery failure too! Check the cables every time you change the oil. Clean & tighten them if necessary. I had a car that randomly wouldn’t start and it turned out that all I needed to do was clean my battery cables. Once I got them cleaned my car started every time for me…imagine that.
7. Check belts and hoses. Examine for cracks, nicks, frays & glazing. Guess what folks, Yep, hot weather can reduce the life of your belts and hoses too. Hoses in good condition will be firm & flexible.
8. Check the emergency kit or make one if you don’t already have one. You should keep a flashlight, jumper cables, a basic tool set , spare tire, jack, crowbar, and possibly, most importantly, a cell phone charger (if you don’t you will wish you did). And if you’re like me other necessities include solitaire or some other great game app on your phone & a book.
If you don’t want to do all these things yourself, we would happily do them for you. You can call our service center and make an appointment or schedule one on our website. And here’s a link to a great coupon for an oil change, tire rotation & 27 point vehicle inspection.
You can call or email me with any questions or comments and, as always, if I don’t know the answer, I will found out. Cathy