Summer is a time of year most of us look forward to. Vacations, beautiful weather, and quality time with our families. While we love this time of year, our vehicles do not! Long drives and high temperatures lead to extra wear and tear on just about every aspect of our vehicles. This is especially true in areas like San Marcos that experience hot and dry summer months, as well as the marine layer and salty air. According to the US Department of Transportation, “Prevention and planning may take a little time up front but will spare you from dealing with the consequences of a breakdown—or worse yet, a highway crash—later.” So as we approach the hottest months of the year, the pros at Metro Transmission and Automotive created our top 5 tips for vehicle maintenance this summer.
The 5 Best Tips For Safe Driving This Summer
Coolant System and Fluids
This is one of the most important systems in your vehicle during high heat and long-distance drives. Regularly check your fluid levels as well as the visual condition of the hoses and coolant reservoir. Pay close attention for any leaks, soft or “squishy” hoses and damaged or loose connections.
Tire Tread and Pressure
While checking the condition of your vehicle’s tires is something you should do year-round, it’s especially important during the summer. A tire in good condition will have plenty of tread remaining, is free of cracks, nails or other embedded objects, and filled to the factory recommended air pressure. Don’t forget to check your spare tire as well!
Belts and Filters
One of the most common effects of hot weather on our vehicles is the breakdown of belts and air filters. The high temperatures and dry air cause the belts to stretch and weaken, while dust and debris clog your filtration system. It’s best to regularly inspect the engine bay and check for any cracks or visible damage to your belts, and excessive dirt builds up in your air filters. Beyond the risk of a major breakdown, a clean engine will improve the effectiveness of the heating and AC system.
Air Conditioning System
If you notice the AC in your vehicle isn’t as cold as it once was, you’re likely due for a Freon service. This is a fairly simple vehicle maintenance process that can save you from the hours of misery and discomfort of driving during the summer. While it’s recommended a professional mechanic perform this service, there are a wide variety of DIY options available at your local auto parts store.
Windshield Wipers and Fluid
It may seem windshield wipers and fluid are irrelevant during a San Diego summer, however, proper visibility is essential no matter the season. Regularly check your wiper blades for any rips or tears, and test the blades and wiper fluid while safely parked in your driveway. You never know when you may need to clear your windshield, and damaged blades can lead to an even more dangerous situation.
As long as you follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance, regularly service your vehicle and practice safe driving techniques, the summer heat shouldn’t be much of an issue for newer vehicles. The amount and style of your driving will play a role in the additional service or maintenance your vehicle may need.
If you would like to know more summer vehicle maintenance tips or our new customer specials, give us a call today or get started with a free online quote. We’re available Monday – Friday from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM.