Summer can be particularly brutal on vehicles. The hot temperatures can wreak havoc on all different parts of your vehicle. With this season being the primary time for road trips and vacations, it’s important to know your vehicle is in good working condition before leaving the house. There is nothing worse than setting off on a summer vacation only to find yourself stuck on the side of the road.
Carcare.org, home of The Car Care Council recommends the following summer checklist to reduce the risk of ending up stranded.
Hot temperatures can shorten battery life by causing battery fluid to evaporate. This can damage the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate which will eventually destroy a battery. To make sure this doesn’t happen make sure to have your vehicle’s electrical system checked. This will guarantee your battery is charging at the correct rate.
Another aspect of keeping your car running all summer long is making sure your coolant is fresh. A vehicle’s cooling system works extra hard during the hot summer months. Protect your cooling system by changing the coolant annually, this will help protect against corrosion.
Besides just keeping you on the road, tires make sure you stay safe during your journey. With the extra stress summer puts on tires it’s vitally important to check tire pressure and have your tires rotated regularly. This will help maximize tire life and vehicle safety. Remember to check tire pressure when tires are cold and have not been driven on recently. Heat can cause the pressure to rise giving you a false reading.
Finally, check hoses and belts to make sure they have not become brittle, frayed, loose or just flat-out cracked. These are vital to multiple components of your vehicle including the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system. If there is any signs of damage or excessive wear, bring your car to a licensed and reputable mechanic for repair.