If you’re like us, you love the summer sun and want to get out there for a leisurely drive or even a long road trip. After the cold of winter and the rains in spring, the summer heat should be a piece of cake, right? It can be, but only if you’re prepared. Our vehicles are amazing machines that can withstand a lot, but even still they can be prone to breakdowns and other issues if they’re pushed to the limit.
Today we’ll be giving you some guidance on how to beat the heat without breaking your ride. Read on for our tips to beat the summer heat.
Cooling systems protect engines from overheating and should be flushed periodically, as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Between flushes, make sure the coolant is filled to the proper level by checking the overflow reservoir. If necessary, top off the reservoir with a 50/50 mix of water and the coolant type specified by the vehicle manufacturer. One thing you should never do, however, is to remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot – boiling coolant under pressure could cause serious burns. Rubber cooling system components are susceptible to heat-related deterioration, so periodically inspect hoses and drive belts for cracking, soft spots, or other signs of poor condition.
The summer heat can make your air-conditioning system work overtime, which is bad news for you as a driver. Studies have shown that high temperatures can reduce alertness and lead to judgment errors—something that we simply can’t have when we’re operating a high-speed vehicle. Turn up the AC so you can stay focused and on top of your driving. Before you do, have your system checked by a reputable mechanic. If a car’s air conditioning is not maintaining the interior temperature as well as it once did, it may mean the refrigerant level is low or there is another problem that needs to be addressed. In addition, if your car has a cabin filter, it should be inspected and replaced as needed to ensure maximum airflow and cooling during the summer months.
Between hitting hidden potholes and dealing with difficult road conditions, your tires deserve a good check-up. The truth is, tires lose or gain pressure daily depending on the outside temperature. In cool weather, for example, a tire will typically lose one or two pounds of air per month. Make sure your tires are properly inflated before hitting the road for a big summer road trip, because tires with low air pressure tend to wear out much more quickly. Get started by finding your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure.
Even with preventive maintenance, summer breakdowns can still occur, so AAA recommends drivers have a well-stocked emergency kit in their cars. The kit should include water, non-perishable food items, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or an emergency beacon, basic hand tools and a first aid kit. It’s pretty similar to the winter kit we talked about before, but without the blankets and warm clothing. Even easier to put together!
Regular maintenance will help keep you and your car safe even in the hottest of summers. If you need a trained eye to take a look at your car and make sure it’s summer ready, it’s best to consult with a professional. Let King Brothers Collision help keep you and your family safe—and cool—in your car this summer. Give us a call at 313-534-8090 (Redford) or 734-744-8557 (Livonia). You can also get in touch with us through our online contact form and we’ll get back to you at a more convenient time.