- August 4, 2021
- Posted by: Cunningham's
- Category: Summer Car Care
Hot weather can be hard on our bodies, but did you know it can be hard on our cars too? Higher temperatures often make our cars work harder. With extreme heat comes the need for more effective cooling, both for the interior of the car and the engine compartment itself. Many components in your car can become brittle when exposed to prolonged high temperatures, which can result in leaks, damages or inoperable mechanisms. Summer car care is essential if you plan on doing any driving this summer. Do a quick inspection and service on the air conditioning (A/C system) and tires at the very least. Plus check out the fluids, hoses, and belts to make sure they are topped off and in good working order.
Top 5 Tips for Summer Car Care
If you feel confident working under the hood of your car, then these simple tasks can be done in your own garage. However, if you prefer to leave it to the professionals, schedule a service appointment for a summer time check-up.
Being in the car for any length of time is much more comfortable when the interior temperature can be adjusted to suit you. Sweating in your seat for hours at a time is not only unpleasant, but it can impede your ability to drive safely too. Studies show that dehydration can negatively affect your response time while driving. And if your body’s core temperature reaches 104 degrees F, you can start experiencing Heat Stroke. Make sure your car’s A/C system is in good working order before you go on any extended trip. Be sure to check out the following components:
- Interior Cabin Air Filter
- Refrigerant Levels – Since the air conditioning is a closed system, it is best to have this done by a qualified service technician.
- Leaks in hoses, gaskets, and seals
- Cooling Fans
Tires and Wheels
Maintaining the correct air pressure in your tires is important all year. In summer, it is easy to over-inflate your tires since heat tends to make the air inside expand. Having too much air in your tires can cause uneven wear, a rougher road feel, and even increase the chance of a blow out at higher speeds. Check out your owner’s manual for the recommended tire pressure for your car. Proper tire care can maximize tire life. Other things to look at include:
- Tread depth
- Need for tire rotation
- Need for wheel alignment and balancing
- Repair or replace damaged tires
- Inspect spare tire for road readiness
Your car regularly uses the various fluids during every day driving, so it is important to top off any low fluids. You should also be aware of any leaking fluids and check the levels of the oil, brake, transmission, power steering, antifreeze/coolant, and windshield wiper fluids on a regular basis. If you have noticed a leak, it is best to take it in for a diagnosis and repair right away. A small leak now could turn into a large expense later. Nothing ruins vacation plans quicker than being stranded on the highway. A quick way to identify a leak by its color:
- Oil – Light Brown to Greasy Black
- Brake Fluid – Transparent Yellow to Brown
- Transmission Fluid – Orange or Red to Brown
- Power Steering Fluid – Clear, Red, or Brown
- Antifreeze/Coolant – Most often Neon Yellow-Green, but can also be Neon Pink, Neon Orange or Neon Blue. Coolant is toxic if ingested, so clean up any leaks quickly.
- Windshield Wiper Fluid – Clear to Pale Blue
- Water – Clear water can often be condensation, this is usually normal, especially if you were running the air conditioner.
Hoses & Belts
The various hoses and belts that connect all the components under the hood should be checked frequently. If the hoses are cracked or split, or if the belts are frayed, they should be replaced. Gaskets can get brittle and need to be replaced as well. If you see any oozing or leakage around the gaskets, then you’ll know it is time for a service.
Your car’s battery may be a sealed model, or a model that can be serviced. If the fluid levels inside the battery get too low, it will not provide enough charge to start your engine. Excess corrosion on the terminals can also cause issues with the performance of your battery. You can clean them with a little wire brush, baking soda, and water. In general, a car battery should last 3-5 years under normal conditions. If you have had your car battery longer than that, you should have it checked out and replace if necessary.
Auto Repair Shop In Ottsville, PA
Cunningham’s Automotive Repair Services is proud to offer a wide range of auto repair services in the Bucks County, PA area. To keep your car or light truck running properly this summer, let our certified technicians make sure your vehicle is in tip top shape for all your summer activities.
Schedule A Summer Car Care Service
We look forward to hearing from you. Contact us via our website or call us at (610) 847-6006 to make your appointment today!