Whenever winter is around the corner, you hear a lot about getting things ready for it. This maybe your home, yourself, or your car. And, it makes sense. Winter may be majestic, but it’s really hard on most manmade things, and on mankind as well. Ensuring safety on the road, and proper running in harsh conditions is a serious concern and well worth the time to see to.
But, with summer arriving, shouldn’t there be more than just removing your winter prep? Summer has its demands too, with the heat, the rain in many areas, and the dustiness of things when it’s dry. Are there optimizations to be made for summer driving?
The short answer to this is “absolutely”. However, this depends on your area, and what your summers are like. In temperate places, it’s partially rainy, hot, somewhat humid, but also very dusty at times. In desert climates, it’s scorching and very, very dusty. In tropical places, it’s muggy and rains daily. Thus, on top of the general things we’ll be looking at today, you may need to take some specific measures depending on where you live.
So, let’s go over a list of things you should do no matter what, to get your car ready for summer. Your car and your wallet will thank you in the long run!
Step 1: Tire Change
You put snow tires on your car for winter, if you have strong winters, right? Well, these tires aren’t hazardous to drive in summer, but it’s kind of pointless and wasteful. Summer tires exist, which handle the expansion of the air, and the hot road better, but more likely than not, you’ll probably be putting all-season tires on because few places have homogenous, predictable climates that span a whole season.
Summer tires are costly, and if you do this, it will mean you’re changing tires probably four times a year to account for places with more robust autumn or spring seasons. All-season tires are a good, sane solution for average car owners.
Step 2: Wiper Blades and Fluid
Be it rain, dust, bugs or all of the above, summer is a time when you’re going to get a lot of obtrusive crud on your windshield. A fresh set of wiper blades and topped-off fluid will have you adequately prepared for safe summer driving even if you live in the south, where love bugs are the nemesis of clean cars everywhere.
Step 3: Check Your Brakes
Whenever the temperature trends change, brake checks are a smart idea. Thermal expansion can affect brake fluid flow, brake shoes and internal mechanics. In the summer, this can make brakes jam or be unresponsive, or result in a loss of traction. The thing is, over-sensitive brakes can be as bad as insufficient ones. Meaning to just slow down, and resulting in a slam on your brakes, could get you rear-ended or even worse.
Step 4: Tune-Up
A long and grueling winter means a tune up is in order most of the time. This will ensure that everything is calibrated properly, nothing is coming undone, and nothing is worn down. Even if your vehicle felt like it was running fine before summer arrived, you’ll be working systems in summer that you didn’t.
Step 5: Coolant and Oil
When seasons change, a change out of oil is always a good idea, as you can ensure the levels are appropriate, temperatures haven’t degraded the oil, and you just have fresh oil altogether, which is always a good thing.
Your coolant is also important, especially in summer. You will have used less coolant actively during winter, even if you run the heat, and some of it may be lost to evaporation or leaks that the cold caused, which can lead to some serious issues once summer rolls around.
Step 6: Air Conditioning
Oh yes, check your air conditioning before it gets too hot. The systems could have jammed up during winter, or freon lost. You may be due for a recharge, or to have adjustments made (which will be remedied during the tune-up, if you know to point the need out).
You don’t want to discover on a sweltering day, that your AC was on its last legs, and has died on you.
Step 7: Wash Me
Finally, wash your car, to rinse off the grime of winter, and clean out your interior and swap out the winter mats for summer ones.
To learn more smart auto tips like these, fill out our contact form today!