While nothing beats cycling in the summertime, your car will likely still be the true gateway to your adventures this season. As such, you must take the necessary steps to ensure that your trusted vehicle is in tip-top shape.
Regular maintenance keeps your summer plans on track. It also helps extend your car's lifespan, protecting you from costly repairs that can pop up due to neglecting the obvious (and sometimes hidden) warning signs.
Below are some things you'll likely want to consider before hitting the road this summer.
Tires & Brakes
Many people don't realize the effect that the temperature can have on your car's tires; when things heat up, the air in your tires takes up more volume, and when things get chilly (as they often do in the winter months), the air takes up less volume. For this reason, the manufacturer of your tires has prescribed an ideal pressure, which you should check every month. This will help you detect any leaks early—avoiding flats—while also helping you curb the issues that can come from overinflation, which leaves tires more susceptible to damage.
Also, adequately pumped tires can increase fuel efficiency by up to 3%!
It's also worth having your brakes (one of the more vital parts of your vehicle) inspected professionally every season. If they feel mushy or are perhaps making any noticeable grinding or scratching noises while in use, it could be time to have the pads or even the brakes themselves replaced. Worse, there may be an issue that isn't easily self-diagnosed.
A handful of fluids in your car require monitoring; oil is one of the main ones. While it's easy to replace, it is essential to have it checked professionally, especially if you're uncomfortable doing it alone. While it may not be empty, and the light may not be flashing on the dash, there can be hidden signs, like gunky build-up, which may require you to flush your engine
Moreover, you'll want to ensure that your coolant, transmission, differential, power steering and brake fluids are at their recommended levels. Also, check for leaks; anything left behind could be a red flag.
Nothing is more important than the air in your car when the sun is blazing. If your air conditioner isn't keeping you as cool as your heart desires, it may need to have its refrigerant filled —or it may have a leak. Even if it is appropriately frigid in your vehicle, it's worth having a professional check it out every few years. That should be a rule of thumb for all your car's hoses and belts.
Lastly, it's wise to consider your car's air filtration. While it's easy to blame car smells on skunks or kid-related shenanigans, it could also be a sign of build-up or debris in the filter under your hood or in your cabin. A blocked or dirty filter puts unnecessary strain on your engine and can lower fuel efficiency.
Are you headed on a road trip this summer? Here are a few stops across the country you may want to check out. Also, don’t let your vacation budget steer you away from getting your car serviced and inspected before your trip. LendCare’s auto repair financing can help make big bills more manageable. Click here to learn more.