Never ignore summer maintenance
Many people often prepare their vehicle for winter driving. They’ve have a tune up and place winter tires on their vehicle, hopefully before it’s too late. But what about preparing your vehicle for summer driving? There are things you can do to ensure your vehicle is readying for summer. It’s never too late in the summer to take advantage of summer vehicle preparation. It’s always a good idea to ensure your vehicle is mechanically sound before driving, so here are a few tips to do yourself.
Check each of the fluid levels before summer, especially before heading out on that summer vacation. Use your vehicle owner’s manual to locate each fluid reservoir. Fluids you should check include; oil, transmission, brake, power steering and washer fluid. Some have a see-through reservoir which makes your job easier to do. You could also check the hoses for cracks. It’s a good idea to do these checks when the engine is cold. This is so you won’t touch anything hot and burn yourself.
When you’re cleaning your vehicle, look for pit marks on your windshield. If a stone has flown at your windshield while you were driving, it could lead into a crack. Getting the pit mark repaired before a crack develops is a good idea. The windshield isn’t just to see out of; it’s also a safety feature if something like a large tree branch falls on your vehicle. It helps to keep the seating compartment intact. Speaking of windshields, check your wipers as well for cracks or wear. Typically, windshield wipers only last about a year. Replacing them annually can reduce streaking while you use them in heavy rains.
Tires are a big part of your driving safety. Properly inflated tires can help your tires grip the road better; especially if road conditions are not ideal. Check for the proper inflation level on the inside door jam on the driver’s side. The sidewall of the tire only lets you know the maximum air pressure; not the recommended air pressure. Check your air pressure once a week or so and do it before you begin driving that day. As you drive the pressure in the tire builds up and may give you an inaccurate reading.
Check the tread depth of your tires as well. Worn out can easily create hydroplaning on wet roads. It’s time to replace the tires if tread wear indicators touch the road or if the tread depth is less than 3 millimetres . Some feel 1.5 millimetres is deep enough, but that’s up to you. Check the face of the tires for flat spots. Rotating your tires according to your owner’s manual may help your tires last longer.
Other checks that may need to be done by a professional would include; oil filters, air filters, fuel filters, brake systems, cooling systems suspension and steering systems. I’ve heard many people say they don’t think those are important, but doing a proactive check before something goes wrong can help reduce the costs if something does go wrong.