With the recent excessive temperatures around the Waukesha area it is very important to be certain that your car or truck is in tip-top shape for hot summer driving. A thorough servicing of your automobile can assure you of trouble-free summer driving.
The following are a few tips for preparing your car for Wisconsin’s hot summer driving.
The Cooling System
The cooling system is probably one of the most important elements of your car or tuck in hot temperatures, and it would be foolish to overlook this important maintenance step.
The most common problem of overheating is due to low coolant levels, and you should be certain that your radiator coolant is a) at the proper level, and b) the proper water-to-coolant ratio.
If you are going to check the level yourself, it is important to NOT remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! For checking coolant ratio, it is best to have an automotive professional perform this step
The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual, and perhaps more often if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or if you tow a trailer.
Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles, especially in hot temperatures. Check tire pressures once a month; let the tires “cool down” first. Make sure you get new tires just in case.
Don’t forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there’s uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.
Batteries can fail any time of year and it is best to have your battery checked to be certain that it is holding a good charge. The best way to detect a weak battery is by having professional automotive technician test it with the proper equipment. As for routine maintenance, it is good to scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections.
Remember to always wear eye protection and rubber gloves when working with batteries.
You may want to pick up a cold air intake system to help keep your car from overheating. This is a very smart buy when living in places where it is hot.
A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Make sure that there are no leaves and bum faces stuck in the air conditioner.
Routinely replace all filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended in your owner’s manual. Be certain to get engine drive-ability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your owners’ manual, or even sooner if you notice any noise, pulsations, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.