With winter behind us, it’s time to start thinking about what we need to do to prepare for the warm months of summer. We may not have had those extreme, freezing temperatures like they had up north this winter, but we are expecting some pretty hot temperatures this summer, and that means we need to take a few steps to make sure our cars are prepared to handle it. Here are three car maintenance tips to consider before the heat waves start rolling in:
- Check your tire pressure: This is a simple maintenance chore just about anyone can handle. If you don’t own a tire pressure gauge, you can get one for a few dollars from the auto store. Keep it in your glove box or maintenance kit so it’s always handy. To use it, place the end of the gauge onto the tire stem – the little cap that sticks out from the inner part of your tire near the rim. A little air will escape at first, but once the gauge is in place, the air flow will stop and the pressure of the air will enable you to get a reading on the gauge itself. Always measure your tire pressure when the tires are cold, not after you’ve been using it. You can also buy a digital pressure gauge for less than $20, which may be easier to read. In addition to checking tire pressure, spring is also a good time to have your tires rotated to make sure they have even wear. When tires wear unevenly, it can affect the way your car handles on the road, especially in wet or windy weather, and it can even have an impact on your ability to brake properly.
- Check your wiper blades: Wiper blades are often overlooked until one rainy day when you realize they’re not doing their job. Instead of waiting until that fateful day, perform some preventive maintenance and replace them every spring. In addition to your car’s own maintenance guide, most auto stores have guides that can determine which blades are right for your car, or you can ask the store owner.
- Check your fluids: Hot weather makes your car work harder, and that means it uses more fluids. Check your oil, your radiator and your brake fluids on a regular basis and top them off as needed. Don’t forget your wiper fluid. It’s also a good idea to have your coolant levels checked to avoid overheating.
Not everyone likes tinkering with cars, so if these chores aren’t up your alley, your auto mechanic can take care of these maintenance tips and lots more. Make an appointment today so you can stay safe when summer road trips beckon.
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