Summer Car Care Tips
We’re in the midst of summer, and, here in sunny Florida, the heat is in full force. To cool down, you and your loved ones might hit the nearest pool, lake, or beach. Perhaps you treat yourself to cool summer favorites like popsicles, ice cream, or an ice-cold lemonade. Those who enjoy summer festivities, such as barbecues, might even bring along a fan to cool themselves down.
Any way you celebrate summer, there’s no shortage of ways in which you can choose to stay cool. However, for your vehicle, it’s a different story.
You might not know it, but the high temperatures and long hours of daylight can take its toll on cars. From destroying batteries to stressing the cooling system, peeling the paint, and deflating tires, your vehicle can experience any one of these under the taxing sun.
This is exactly why, as we gear up to go into the dog days of summer, we wanted to make sure your car remains running in tiptop shape. Just as you need to take some car maintenance precautions during the winter, you need to do the same in summer. This is especially true if you live in an area with a hot summer climate.
Below, you’ll find our best-kept summer car care tips.
There are two things that work against your battery’s life: heat and vibration. While you can’t do much about heat, you can make sure there is as little vibration as possible. Be sure that your battery is securely mounted in place to minimize all vibration. If your battery is older than three years, it is a good idea to get it tested.
While your car can function without AC, it is absolutely a necessity for people, especially when traveling throughout Florida’s hot summers. For a pleasant drive, no matter how far you’re going, you will need a properly functioning air conditioning system. If you feel like your AC isn’t cooling the car as it once did, this might mean the filter is dirty and needs to be changed or the refrigerant level is low.
Top off Fluids
Your vehicle’s cooling system works harder in the summer to prevent the engine from overheating. While you should change the coolant once a year, it does help to periodically check to ensure that the mixture in the radiator is at 50/50 distilled water to coolant. Top off fluids as needed. This will help protect against corrosion or leaks; however, it also helps to have a visual inspection around your hose and belts if you suspect there is a leak.
The extreme temperatures can do a number on your tires. In fact, there are several ways in which the heat can affect them. For starters, it is important to keep your tires inflated all summer long. Tires that are underinflated, even by the slightest, pose heavy risks to the driver. Not only does a low tire pressure negatively affect the car’s handling and braking, but it also overheats the tires. That overheating, doubled with extremely hot pavement temperatures, is the recipe for a blowout.
This is why you should always check your tires, especially before getting into your vehicle for a long drive. Also worth noting: When you are checking your tire pressure, go by the number your car’s manufacturer recommends, not the number that is printed in the tire itself.
The second thing you have to worry about is the tread on your tires. You obviously want to remain as safe as possible in your vehicle, and the tread on your tires enables you to do so. Uneven tread points to possible suspension or alignment problems, not to mention that worn out tread poses a greater risk of hydroplaning.
If you are unsure of your tire’s tread, a good “test” you can do at home is the penny test. Insert an upside down penny along the tread in your tire. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, you need new tires. A good way to remember this is “if you see Lincoln’s head, your tires are dead.”
If you are worried about your tires, need a new battery, or have any questions or concerns about your summer car maintenance, be sure to head into one of our 26 stores. Located throughout central and south Florida, Action Gator Tire is the place to turn for all your automotive repair needs. Be sure to check out our coupons for the best deals around!