4 Car Care Tips For The Summer Season

Posted on: 18 May 2016

The subject of how best to winterize your car during the coldest months of the year gets a lot of attention, but there's less attention paid to how you should prepare your car for the summer heat. The truth is that the extreme heat in the summer season can have a profound effect on your car, and it's important to know how to take care of your vehicle when the temperatures are high. Take a look at some of the most important car care tips for the upcoming summer season.

Test Your Tire Pressure

Did you know that there are nearly twice as many tire failures caused by under-inflation when the temperatures rise above the mid-80s? When the tire pressure drops and the temperature of the tire increases, the tire can actually come apart, which is something that you definitely don't want to happen while you're driving.

Check your tire pressure when the car is cold, and make sure to only fill it to the recommended pressure, which you can find in your owner's manual or on the sticker inside the driver's door. Remember that the pressure shown on the tire is the maximum pressure, not the recommended pressure, and it's always best to stick with the recommended pressure. If you're having trouble finding the recommended pressure, let your tire dealer or mechanic check the pressure and fill the tires for you.

Protect Your Paint Job

You know to protect your skin with sunscreen, especially during the summer when the heat is highest and the sun is at its brightest. Think of your car's paint job like the "skin" of your car – it needs to be protected too. Repeated or lengthy exposure to high temperatures and bright sunlight can cause your car's paint job to fade. The sun can also dry out rubberized trim and cause it to crack.

Try to park your car in covered parking spaces whenever possible. If you can't, you may want to purchase a cover for your car. Make sure you choose one that's designed to block out UV rays. Waxing your car (after washing and drying it, of course) can also help provide some protection from the sun.

Top Off the Radiator

You should keep an extra close eye on your coolant levels in the summer time. Your engine gets pretty hot as it is, and when you add in the hot weather, you could be at risk of overheating if your coolant is running low. When an engine gets too hot, the metal parts inside can begin to melt, which can lead to any number of other engine problems, so it's important to prevent overheating.

Remember that you should only check the coolant when the car is cool. If you try to open the radiator cap when the car is hot, you're liable to get scalded by hot radiator fluid. Even when the car is cool, you should wrap a rag over the radiator cap before you unscrew it, just in case.

Keep an Eye on Your Battery

Extreme heat is one of the two main reasons for shortened battery life, so it's a good idea to make sure your battery gets some attention this summer. If your battery is one that needs distilled water added periodically, you may need to check it and top it off more frequently in the summer.

You should also make sure to keep the top of the battery clean. When dirt and grime builds up on top of your battery, it becomes a conductor and drains the power out of your battery. And if the battery terminals become corroded, the corrosion prevents the current from flowing as it should. To clean the battery, detach the cables and wipe off any dirt or corrosion on the terminals, then reattach the cables and make sure all of the connections are secure. While you're at it, check to make sure that the battery is strapped firmly in place.

If you begin to notice any heat-related car problems, don't wait to have them checked out. If you wait too long, a minor problem can turn into a major, expensive problem. The summer season is a great time to take your car in for a thorough tune-up to be sure that it's ready for the hot months ahead. For more information, check out a website like http://www.autobodyomaha.com.