The summer season is the perfect time of the year for a good, old-fashioned road trip. But before you hit the highway, your car must be in good shape.
Fortunately, you can be prepared for a season full of fun and sun with some simple summer maintenance for your car. Not sure where to start? Check out these eight tips to add to your summer car care checklist.
1. Change the oil and oil filter
Oil is essential in keeping your engine protected against wear and tear, while oil filters help to remove contaminants from your car’s engine oil.
Most owner’s manuals recommend that a car’s oil be changed around every 5,000 miles. As you’re performing summer maintenance for your car, now is an excellent time to check the oil levels in your vehicle along with the mileage since your last oil change.
If your car needs an oil change, you can do it yourself with relative ease or bring it to your local oil shop.
2. Check your tire pressure
The winter months can wreak havoc on your car’s tires, so before you head out on a long road trip, be sure to check your tire pressure. Optimal tire pressure not only maximizes your gas mileage but can prevent a severe tire blowout.
When checking your car’s tire pressure, look for signs that your tires are over or underinflated. If your tires are significantly underinflated, you may be able to tell just by looking at them, but you should also check the PSI (pounds per square inch) using a tire pressure gauge.
Most tires need between 30 and 35 PSI, but be sure to reference your owner’s manual if you’re unsure.
3. Top off your fluid levels
Over time, fluid levels (such as transmission fluid, power steering fluid, engine fluid, brake fluid, and windshield wiper fluid) can thin or evaporate. Evaporation is especially prevalent during the summer months when the temperatures rise.
When performing summer maintenance for your car, inspect all fluid levels and top off the fluid if need be. One of the most important fluid levels to check is the coolant since the coolant is particularly important during the summer months as it keeps your car’s engine from overheating.
To check the coolant levels, open the hood, locate the coolant reservoir, check the coolant level by finding the indicator line of the reservoir, top off if needed, and reattach the cap.
4. Do a battery test
Did you know that excess heat can cause your car’s battery to oxidize faster than usual? It’s true! That’s why it’s essential to do a battery test when running through your summer car care checklist.
The good news is that you can check your car’s battery health quickly and easily. To start, simply turn on your vehicle and your car’s headlights. Check that the headlights look normal. Next, rev the engine and recheck the headlights. If they still look normal (e.g., the same brightness level), your car’s battery is most likely healthy.
You can also use a multimeter to check your car’s battery health.
5. Have your brakes inspected
Brakes are one of the most critical components of any car, so it’s essential to make sure they are working correctly.
When performing summer maintenance for your car, inspect your brakes thoroughly, paying attention to any “off” sounds they may make, like squealing. Another sign to look out for is poor stopping performance or pulling your car to one side whenever you use the brakes.
If you notice any of the above, have your brakes inspected by a professional mechanic.
6. Replace your windshield wipers
When running through your summer car care checklist, replacing your car’s windshield wipers is one of the easiest things you can do. Before heading out on a summer adventure, check that your car’s windshield wipers are working effectively and haven’t been compromised by the elements of seasons past.
7. Rotate your tires
Rotating your car’s tires can extend their life since each tire experiences different rates of wear and tear. This can make your vehicle safer too, which is important before heading out on any summer trips.
8. Inspect the alignment
The alignment of your car can be throw off by normal wear and tear. When performing summer maintenance for your car, you can assess your car’s alignment by driving in a straight line in a low-traffic area. If your vehicle pulls to one side, your alignment may be off and in need of service.
Store Your Car with The Vault This Summer
Going on a summer vacation and leaving your car behind? Not a problem.
Choose The Vault as your summer vacation storage or monthly car storage solution in San Diego. At The Vault, your car will be in good hands. In-house washing, detailing, battery maintenance, tire pressure checks, car starting, and car exercising services are just a few of the benefits of summer car storage with us.
Don’t leave your car unattended during your next vacation. Contact us today to learn more about summer storage solutions.