Summertime is prime driving time. Between road trips, beach trips, camping trips, and all the other excursions summer brings, we spend a lot of time behind the wheel. In fact, Americans log the most miles between the months of July and September.
But all that driving in the summer heat and sun can take a toll on your vehicle. So below are summer maintenance tips to help you and your used car navigate the heat.
Check Your Fluid Levels
Your vehicle uses coolant in the radiator to absorb heat from the engine and prevent it from overheating. The air conditioning system uses freon or a similar refrigerant that cools the air as it blows into your car. Both fluids are important in the summer months. It’s important to routinely check the fluid levels of your used car and consider having them replaced by a professional when needed. This is especially important when your system needs flushing.
Check Your Tire Pressure
When the temperature goes up, so does the air pressure in your tires. For every 10 degrees that the temperature increases, you can expect tire pressure to go up by about one pound per square inch (PSI).
Overinflated tires are more susceptible to damage from potholes or other road hazards and increase your risk of a blown tire. This is especially true on older tires so be sure to check the PSI of your used car’s tires.
Switch Out Your Oil
Colder temperatures cause the oil in your car to thicken, and warmer temperatures cause it to thin. While today’s motor oils are much more all-weather than in years past, it’s still a good idea to check the viscosity in your oil and swap it out if needed. If you’re unsure, swing by your local auto repair shop and ask the technicians to take a look.
Replace Air Filters
Air filters keep pollutants from entering the cabin through the air vents. But air filters have a shelf life and need to be replaced at regular intervals. Used cars might have old air filters, and summer is a time when pollen, dust, and other particles are heavy in the air.