Summer is for outdoor fun, road trips, and… traffic. With the nice weather, it’s hard to resist getting out on the road, but you must ask the question: Is my car ready for the summer heat? This is one of those times to think about car maintenance. The heat can have serious effects on your car, so it is important to check:
If you drive an older car, a heavier oil can protect the engine. The higher the temperature, the higher the weight and viscosity of oil you need. Although this isn’t a problem for most new cars, which can use the same viscosity oil year-round, check your vehicle manual to see what type of oil is best for summer. An oil change is a good idea this time of year.
Motorists tend to drive faster in summer, so it’s important to make sure all fluids are topped off and fresh. Make sure power steering fluid levels are right, so steering your vehicle is easy. Check the brake fluid, which is susceptible to degradation in heat. Insufficient fluid can affect brake response and even lead to brake failure. It can’t hurt to check the antifreeze, transmission fluid, or for leaks either.
The temperature inside a car can get very hot. The air conditioning system should be professionally inspected. Hot weather can put a strain on worn components, and you don’t want your cooling system to fail during a heat wave. With AC service, you may just need to top off the refrigerant, but in older cars, check the heater control and other parts.
Air filters protect the engine and cabin from dirty air. Without fresh air, it can be extremely unpleasant inside, and your engine and fuel economy can suffer. Cabin air filters will protect you from particulates, pollen, and odors from outside, while preventing contaminants from clogging up the heating and air conditioning system.
Worn tires pose a serious hazard in summer, especially those with bubbles on the sidewalls. Hot road surfaces can overheat tire rubber. Automotive tires can then potentially explode. Also, make sure to check the air pressure. Underinflated tires can affect steering and accelerate wear on the treads. Check the tire pressure every month and rotate your tires every 5,000 miles.
Get your brakes inspected per manufacturer recommendations. And fix any seemingly minor problem before it becomes more serious and puts your safety at risk. If there are noises, pulsations, or changes in response, visit a mechanic pronto. Longer stopping distances can mean your brakes aren’t as effective as they once were.
An old car battery is more likely to die in the summer heat than in cold weather. Get any battery over three years old tested. A professional mechanic can check the cable connections, clean battery surfaces, and even scrape away corrosion. If there are any uncertainties, replace the battery to avoid getting stuck.
It’s also a good idea to get a complete inspection. Have the lighting, belts, hoses, and wipers checked, and repaired or replaced if necessary.
Find the Best Deals on Used Cars in Hawthorne
If you’re looking to invest in a used car this summer, Hawthorne Auto Square has many leading-brand pre-owned cars, serving customers from across the Los Angeles area. Each vehicle is thoroughly inspected before it’s moved to our lot. For more information, and financing even if you have no credit, visit our dealership at 11646 Prairie Ave. in Hawthorne or call our sales office at 866-707-7664.