It is a well-known fact we have unbearably hot summers here. The heat takes a toll on us which is why we all seek refuge inside the comfort of our homes. When summer hits, cars start to malfunction. Most of the breakdowns that occur are due to overheating. Before the real heatwave starts it would be wise to have your vehicle maintenance to ensure it is up to par and ready to take on the summer sun. Now, certain types of engine or transmission malfunctions just kind of happen without warning, however a lot of them can be avoided with good preventative maintenance and keeping your fluid levels topped off. We here at Priceless Towing are going to go over some of the most important preventative maintenance tips to make sure you are good to go this summer!
Car Coolant System Service
This is perhaps one of the most important things to keep an eye on this summer! Not only do you want to monitor your coolant levels and general state of the coolant reservoir, you should also check for leaks. When the engine is cool, give the hoses a squeeze to ensure they are still firm. If they feel soft or are becoming cracked and overly dried out it is time to replace them! Pay special attention around connectors and joints and look for any liquid that may be seeping out. If you see any discrepancies take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic for a repair.
Check Tire Wear Patterns, Tread Depth & Inflation
Walk around your vehicle and inspect all four tires for rocks or nails in the tread. Ensure your tread depth is sufficient and there is no balding or uneven wear. (Uneven wear could be a deeper issue such as suspension). Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for the correct tire pressure and check the pressure in your tires regularly. In blazing hot temperatures, our asphalt roads reach temperatures in excess of 150 degrees which causes tires to inflate. When it is excessively hot like that and your tires swell, it causes added friction when driving and you can experience a blowout. Tire blow out plus high speeds can equal disaster.
Inspect & Test Car Battery
Heat is notorious for speeding up the rate of fluid loss in a vehicle, the battery is not exempt from this phenomenon. As the heat oxidizes the components of the battery, it reduces the life of the battery leading to a dead battery which can leave you stranded.
Feel Brake Pedal; Is it Soft or Spongy?
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be difficult to diagnose a brake issue unless you are feeling the effects of them becoming faulty. If your brake pedal feels spongy, or if the pedal reaches the floor, this can signal that it is time for a brake job. Your brake pedal should be nice and firm when you push on it and your vehicle should stop efficiently without locking up and sending you sliding. Squeaking coming from the brakes or pulsating sensation when you press the brake is another tell-tale sign that it is time for a brake tune-up.
Oil & Filter Change
This should be done every 3,000 miles or every couple of months, whichever comes first. Doing so will keep your engine lubricated and reduce the risk of overheating. Between oil changes, be diligent and check the oil levels to be sure you don’t need to add any. While your vehicle is off, locate the dip stick by your engine and pull it out, wipe off any oil on the end of the dip stick then place it back into its tube and push it all the way in. Pull it back out and check where the fresh oil line is, each dip stick has a way of indicating where the oil level should be, either an “L” (low) “H” (High) two holes, min, max, etc. If your oil is low, take it to your neighborhood oil and lube shop if you’re unsure of how to add more. While you’re there ask your mechanic to check the other fluid levels while he’s at it, windshield wiper fluid, power-steering etc. Also ensure your wiper blades are in good working order so you can have good visibility in the monsoon rains that are on their way.
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All of us here at Priceless Towing hope you and your vehicle won’t need a tow this summer, but if you do, have us on speed dial and we will be there to save the day! Contact Priceless Towing whenever you or a loved one are stranded and need a tow or roadside assistance.