Summertime is notorious for long road trips, and unfortunately rising gas prices. Save at the pump this summer by ensuring your engine and car are running at full efficiency.
5 Summer Car Maintenance Tips
1. Change Your Oil and Oil Filter
You hear it all the time, but it really is that important. Before heading out on that long road trip be sure to check your oil level and how the oil looks. Add more oil if you’re running low. If the oil is dark or grimy it is time to go in for a change.
2. Un-Winterize Your Car
If you winterized your car, well now is the time to “un-winterize” it. Take off heavy tires, check your engine fluid levels, and clean the undercarriage of your car. The salt from the winter roads can eat away at the metal on your car, so it is important to really clean it.
3. Check Hoses and Belts
Check for cracked, disconnected, or broken hoses and belts. Hoses should be firm, never soft or malleable. A damaged hose can cause your engine to overheat during the hot summer driving.
4. Change Air Filter
A clogged air filter can lower your fuel efficiency, and likely your filter is likely to need replacing after a winter of rough driving. Replacing your air filter is an easy fix for improving fuel efficiency.
TIP: The recommended interval for changing your air filter is every 12,000 miles, but if you drive on a lot of dirt or gravel roads be sure to change it more often.
5. Check Coolant and Radiator
The summer heat is tough on cooling systems. Cracked hoses, loose or broken belts, a leak in the radiator, or low coolant levels can all cause your car to overheat and break down. Get under the hood and check your coolant levels, look for missing caps, or any broken belts.
TIP: The general rule is to flush your radiator and add new coolant at least every two years.