You may think that the only thing you have to do to get your car ready for the summer is to get rid of the winter tires and change them back to summer tires or all-season tires. Actually, there is a whole lot more everyone should do to get their vehicles ready for driving in the warm spring and summer months.
In summer you are usually faced with some pretty wild heat waves, and you need to make sure that you, and your vehicle, are both prepared. Here are some excellent tips you can use to get your vehicle ready for summer:
Most of today’s cars come with air conditioning, and this is something that if your vehicle has it, you need to make sure that it is working properly. If your air condition is not working right, it can easily fail completely when you really need it the most. Take your vehicle to your mechanic and have them check out the air conditioning. If it is not working, have it taken care of before the weather starts to get warm.
Not only do you have to change your tires and get rid of the winter or studded ones that can damage pavement when there is no snow and ice, you need to maintain them as well. If you are driving a lot, and even if you are not, have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles or so. About once a month, check your tire pressure, making sure that the tires are cool when you do. Always keep a spare tire and a jack in the car, just in case, and make sure that your tires are in proper alignment, which must be done by an automotive technician.
It is important that you always have good windshield wipers on your car. Just because there is no snow in the summer time, you are bound to run into a few rain storms during these warm months, especially in certain parts of Canada, where there are frequent thunder and lightning storms. Make sure that your wiper blades are not worn, and if they are, replace them. Always make sure that the reservoir is filled with windshield wiper fluid (it should be summer wiper fluid and not winter wiper fluid).
If you are on a long drive on a warm summer day, you may end up having your car overheat if you have not checked the cooling system. Every 24 months the cooling system should be flushed and refilled, and the coolant should be checked every so often, to make sure that there is enough, and to check the condition of the fluid to make sure that it is still working properly. A general rule of thumb is a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water. Remember, when you are checking the coolant, never remove the cap right after you have been driving, because it is extremely hot. Wait until the engine has cooled down before you do this. This is something you can do yourself, but you should have a professional mechanic take care of looking after the clamps, hoses and drive belts.
You can’t just put oil in your car and forget about it. It is something that not only needs to be changed about every 3,000 miles or so, but also something that will need to be topped up every now and again. A good idea is to get into the habit of checking your oil about once or twice a week, and you can easily do this when you stop for gas. If you make a lot of short trips, you may require more frequent oil changes.
It doesn’t matter whether it is winter or summer, you should always make sure that your brakes are in the proper working order. Even in warm summer months, roads can get slick if it is raining out, and you need to know that your brakes are going to work if you need to come to a sudden stop. One way to know if you need new brakes is if hear squealing or grinding noises whenever you put on the brakes. If you do, get your vehicle into a mechanic for brake work right away.
You can end up with a dead battery at any time of the year, not just when it is cold outside. This makes it a really good idea to have your battery checked at the start of every season, especially if the battery is more than three years old, and you should have it tested by a certified mechanic. If you are going on a summer trip, it is especially important to make sure that your battery is working properly. You don’t want to get out in the middle of the woods and end up having a car that won’t start. It is also a good idea to always carry a set of jumper cables with you, just in case.
Not only do you need to protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun with sunblock, you need to do the same thing for your vehicle. Sun can really do a number on a certain parts of the interior of your car. It is a good idea to protect the dash, seats, and anything else that can easily crack from intense heat. You should be doing this regularly, about once a week or so for the best results. You should probably apply a coat of wax to the outside of the car too, which will help protect your paint job from being damaged by the sun.
You will probably need your vehicle to get you to these places, so you should make sure that your vehicle is going to get you there and back safely all summer long. Make sure you check all of the above things before summer starts, and you will have fun driving all around Canada for your vacations.