It’s the beginning of summer, the most popular season for road tripping. As car lovers ourselves, we can’t think of a much better way to relax and get away from stress than going for a nice drive. You get to see all the sights while being able to maintain social distancing—what’s not to like? America was built on its highways, and going for a drive is the perfect way to experience all of it. The open road, a cool breeze, and good friends and family are the best way to enjoy summer. But is it really a vacation if you’re worried about the safety of your car? To make sure your summer is stress-free, read on for our tips and advice.
Check your fluids
Your car needs certain fluids to run properly in higher temperatures. Your radiator’s antifreeze does not need replacing every year, but some mechanics may suggest it. The mechanic should first test the fluid using a coolant hydrometer. You can check the coolant level yourself (easy to do at the see-through overflow bottle). If you need to top off, be sure to use a 50/50 mixture for best boil-over protection. Adding too much? Be sure to check for leaks (look for staining around hoses). While you’re under the hood, top off the washer solvent.
Take care of your paint job
When your car is performing at its best, it should look its best. Summer is a great opportunity to touch up all those nicks and scratches that your car has collected over your travels. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a tired-looking car that just survived a long winter. If your paint job is still looking good, there are protective treatments that will further ensure that your car survives the summer driving conditions without a scratch.
Is your AC running?
It’d be terrible to get out on the road and discover that your AC is blowing hot air when you’re 50 miles from home. This is an area where service shops rip people off all the time, saying that they need a full flush and leak-down test in order to make sure an AC unit is working properly. If you have an older car and nothing cold is blowing out of the vents, chances are you either need a fresh charge of freon, or your heater control switch is stuck in the “ON” position. A full AC system evacuation and recharge should be the last thing on your to-do list, so if tossing in a can or two of refrigerant from an auto store every spring solves the issue for an entire year, go ahead and do it. If you find the AC only blows cold for a week or two and then runs hot, get a pressure check on the AC unit in order to see what condition your system is in.
Prep your emergency kit
This is useful no matter how long your drive. Even just the basics are a good idea: a flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, jumper cables, and emergency flares and reflectors. You should check this at the start of both winter and summer— fresh batteries for the flashlight and make sure the first aid kit is ready to go.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Getting on top of car-related issues before you even experience them is smarter and easier! Your car is an incredibly complex machine with thousands of moving parts and some of the most advanced technology you’ll get to experience. Being proactive is the best thing you can do for your car and for your summer driving experience.
If you’ve already taken care of all of this, King Brothers Collision is ready to assist you if you have any other auto repair needs. Maintenance checks, collision repair, and custom paint detailing—we can do it all! Give us a call at 313-534-8090 (Redford) or 734-744-8557 (Livonia). You can also fill out our online contact form and we’ll get back to you at a more convenient time.