The weather is warming up, and summer is getting ever closer. You might be preparing to take a road trip during your summer vacation period or just want to get your car ready for summer road trips to the beach or elsewhere.
If so, it pays to give your car some attention now so it’s running well and all ready for summer.
4 Tips for Getting Your Car Ready for Summer Road Trip
Getting your car ready for summer is essential to ensure smooth and safe driving during the warmer months. Here are some tips to help you prepare your car for the summer season:
Remove Winter Tires and Check the Spare
Start by removing the winter tires you may have had on your vehicle for the icy and snowy months of the year. There’s no point wearing them out on warm, dry roads, and they won’t help you in the summertime. Instead, swap them out for your usual all-season or summer-specific tires. It’s then worth getting a wheel alignment completed to ensure that your car is driving smoothly.
You should also take the time to check the air pressure on each tire to see if they’re properly inflated. This job is vital for safety and ensuring that tires that are too low don’t overheat and cause blowouts when you’re driving. You should find a sticker on the driver-side door jamb that lists the correct tire pressure for your vehicle. If not, it will be in the owner’s manual that came with the car, or you can look for details online on the manufacturer’s website.
Plus, don’t forget to check that you have a decent spare tire in your car’s boot or other spot. You need to have this on hand in case you run over glass, a nail, or otherwise end up with a flat tire. Ensure this one is pumped up and of decent quality to get you where you need to go if you have to use it and that the jack and other tools didn’t get taken out of your car over the winter for any reason.
See if the Air Conditioning is Working Properly
The summer months are when we tend to use air conditioning in our vehicles the most, so this system needs testing before it gets too hot. You likely haven’t used it for months, so run it for a while to see if it still switches on okay and if cold air comes out.
If there are issues in either of these regards or if you smell weird smells emanating from the air conditioning vents or hear strange noises that seem to be coming from the A/C unit, you should inspect the machine. Purchase some helpful car care tools to handle this job, or take your vehicle to a mechanic or specialist air conditioning contractor to attend to any problems.
Inspect Wiper Blades and Change as Needed
Summer often brings a lot of rain and more birds, insects, dust, and pollen in the air, which can lead to wet and dirty car windscreens. As such, now is an excellent time to inspect the wiper blades on your vehicle and change them if needed. You need good visibility out of the front windscreen, especially if it’s pouring with rain, and you don’t want old wipers potentially scratching the glass.
Changing wiper blades tends to be one of the simplest car maintenance tasks, so you should be able to take care of this yourself. Purchase suitable new wipers (check the owner’s manual for details on sizing or type, if necessary) and read the instructions that come with them for removing the old blades and installing the new ones. Most products click in and out of place without much hassle.
Once you’re done, it’s also wise to check the wiper fluid reservoir. That may have become low, so top it off if needed. It pays to use a mixture of special windscreen cleaner and water. Many car brands sell their own particular windscreen washing fluids, too.
Top Up Coolant Levels If Required
Another element in your car that may need topping up is the coolant. A lack of coolant is one of the main reasons many cars break down in the summer. The cooling system needs flushing every couple of years (you don’t want cloudy coolant causing issues) and then should be checked occasionally after that.
You can use a mixture of water and antifreeze to get your coolant level back up to par and help stop your car’s engine from overheating. There are helpful pre-diluted mixtures on the market you can use for convenience.
Other jobs to get your car ready for summer are examining the brakes’ condition, seeing if the battery has much life left in it, and preparing an emergency kit for your car. Also, wash and wax the vehicle to remove road salt and grime from melted snow that may have accumulated on the paintwork during winter.
Following these tips will help you keep your car in better condition and reduce the likelihood that you have problems with it in the heat of summer, too.