The great thing about summer is the sun. Lovely days at the beach with family or friends, peaceful drives through the countryside, picnics, barbecues, the list goes on and on. With the hotter days just around the corner the possibilities seem endless. However, to make sure that you can take advantage of them you need to look after your car. That perfect beach trip you may have planned will not be much good if you cannot get there. Fortunately, we have advice on how to make sure your car is summer ready.
Before you Go
Check the Brakes
The last thing anyone wants is to have their brakes fail. If it has been hard winter, and even if it has not, get your brakes checked. Key signs to be on the lookout for include screeching noises or grinding.
Protect the Interior
Getting a sun tan is great. The thing is, those rays that are so good for your summer body are not so nice for your car. The insides can become so hot that they cannot be touched, let alone sat in and driven. In the more extreme cases you could be burned and the interior can crack or fade. The thing to do is lookout for a protective coating that can be applied beforehand. A reflective screen in the windshield is also a good idea.
Get an Oil Change
This is a good idea about ever 3,000 miles. Since things will be hotter in the summer you may want to consider using a synthetic oil designed to help your engine with the heat.
Do a Fluid Check
Make sure the fluids have not run low after winter. Remember to include the brake, transmission, power steering, washer and windshield.
Does your AC Work?
Since it was winter not too long ago you probably did not have much use for the cold AC in your car. The last thing you want is your car trying to make things even warmer on an already hot day. If you suspect it is not working then get it checked.
You may have been using winter tires, or maybe you have a set of all-seasons. Either way make sure you check them and that they are appropriate and not too worn.
On the Move
Watch the Temperature
With things heating up your car is more likely to become overheated. Make sure to be extra vigilant and if you have no passengers you can use the heater to vent the air from the engine.
Have a Breakdown Kit
You need to carry the following: water (a gallon and a bottle per person), sunscreen, blanket (for shade not keeping warm), first-aid kit and a flashlight.
Park in the Shade
This will help prevent your car’s interior from overheating before the return trip. It is also worth leaving the windows open about an inch to let the air flow.
Drive when it’s Cooler
If you avoid driving during the hottest part of the day you will make your journey a lot more pleasurable. The early morning and late evening are the best time to drive, and they leave the best part of the day for activities.