Summer is here! Let’s get you set to hit the road and soak in that much-needed time in the sun! The time of year when kids are off school, vacations are used, and everyone congregates to the nearest body of water they can drive to. Car problems can pop up at the worst time possible so it’s always best to be aware of how the summer sun can affect your vehicle.
As much as cold weather can influence driving conditions and your vehicle’s overall performance, the summertime can also sneak up on car owners and cause unexpected maintenance issues. Vehicles need to be protected from the heat to combat serious problems in the future. The last thing you want on a vacation is to deal with pesky car complications.
For vehicle owners, it’s important to get in the habit of consistently checking your tire pressure year-round, especially in times of drastic temperature changes. Drivers should keep a tire pressure gauge in their vehicle at all times in case they need to check the PSI of their tires to ensure a safe quality of travel. If your tires are inadequately inflated, there is a greater chance of tire failure for every second you drive on the road.
All of your vehicle’s tires should be inflated to reflect the recommended PSI for safety reasons. This way, there is less chance of you experiencing a tire blow-out on the highway or even complete loss of control. We recommend that you be extra conscious of your tire pressure in the summer months, especially before embarking on any trip.
While traveling in hot weather, your vehicle’s oil that is circulating through the engine will begin to thin due to a reaction with the heat. During this time, certain parts of your engine are not receiving the proper lubrication and protection that they should be. This leads to increased friction and potential damage to crucial internal components of your engine. When your engine oil temperature is too high, the car should not be driven, and an alert should be displayed to warn you of a potential overheating problem.
Like a majority of fluids, the oil in your engine will expand when it gets hot so when checking your oil levels, allow the oil to settle for around 5-10 minutes to give time for it to all drain back into the pan. A hot engine needs more lubrication than normal, so changing your oil during regular intervals is extremely important during the summer. We recommend all of our customers double…triple-check their oil levels before hitting the road, or stop by your local Oil Changers for free top-offs on your engine’s oil and fluids!
Having the proper coolant levels is extremely critical to help in protecting your engine from overheating during the summer. Like any other engine fluid, coolant breaks down over time and will lose its protective additive that your vehicle benefits from. The result of this can be contaminants accumulating inside your radiator and affecting its overall performance. It is vital that coolant levels are regularly inspected to negate any potential troubles with your cooling system.
We highly recommend that during the summer months, you keep an eye on your vehicle’s temperature gauge and regularly replace the coolant fluid.
There is often confusion where the cooling systems are looped into the same group as the air conditioning, which is not true. Cooling systems ONLY maintain the temperature of the engine. The air conditioning system will cool off the space inside the cabin that will hold passengers. The air conditioning is vital in the summertime for plenty of obvious reasons…it can get brutal in there without a properly working system. As well, if you notice any issues with your air conditioning like insufficient airflow, warm air, bad smells, or unusual noises, it may be time to look into a new system.
Be sure your cabin air filter is up to date! You should never procrastinate replacing these filters, as they can be clogged with debris and can cause issues to your vehicle’s HVAC systems. Have a technician at Oil Changers check and adjust the filters in your vehicle, so both you and your ride are breathing fresh the entire ride!
When planning your trips during the summer, keep your vehicle and these seasonal maintenances in mind so the fun doesn’t have to be put on a hiatus. By staying consistent with your vehicle’s maintenance services, you’ll find yourself having a more enjoyable experience while driving this summer. Keeping up with these services will not only benefit your vehicle but also keep your vehicle from breaking down on the road in the summer sun.