As the temperature rises and the days grow longer, you’re probably making plans for the summer. You could be polishing your barbecue, for instance, or have finally taken the plunge and invested in a pool. However, did you know that your car should also be prepared for the summer heat? Your car can suffer in the hot weather just as you can, and if left unchecked could be costly, and perhaps even dangerous — there’s nothing like a breakdown to scupper summer road trip plans. With this in mind, here are four ways you can prepare your car for summer.
Check your air conditioning
With their glass windows having an insulating, ‘greenhouse’ effect, cars can soon become unbearably hot ovens if left unattended for even five minutes during the hot weather. To ensure that you arrive at your destination comfortably cool instead of dripping with sweat, check your air conditioning before it gets too hot. If the air does not feel cool enough, you might need more refrigerant. Regularly replacing the air filters will prevent your air conditioning system from overworking, in addition to improving the air quality inside your car, as well.
Check your tires
It’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t drive on tires with a worn out, damaged tread, but hot weather can have other damaging effects on your car’s tires. Changes in temperature can cause tire pressure to fluctuate, causing them to wear unevenly. A higher temperature can also affect the asphalt on roads, increasing your stopping distance should you need to break. Using the Hankook all season tires will help your car to handle and grip the road better during the warmer months, reducing the need to constantly change between winter and summer tires.
Look under the hood
Fluctuations in temperature can take a toll on your car’s mechanics, so it’s a good idea to check under the hood as part of your vehicle’s regular maintenance routine, especially after a long journey. Wait until your engine has cooled, usually an hour or two after driving, otherwise it will be too hot to touch. Amongst the damage to look out for are loose or cracked hoses, rubber components that have become warped or frayed, debris, and loose or broken caps.
Monitor radiator temperature
Ensuring that your radiator has plenty of coolants is essential for the summer months, as your engine will be getting a double-whammy of heat from the general operation and the outside temperature. The temperature gauge on your dashboard will let you know when the engine is running too hot, helping you to avoid overheating. If your car is running too hot, this could mean that your radiator has a leak or is getting low on coolant. Make sure you keep extra coolant in your trunk to allow for top-ups, especially on long road trips. However, make sure you wait until the engine has cooled down before you remove the radiator cap to avoid receiving a burn.