Summer is well and truly upon us, which means you’re probably out enjoying the great weather and driving to scenic places around the country. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a warm summer’s day by driving on dry, warm tarmac through the country, but what about your vehicle? Summer can be extremely hard on vehicles and many vehicles break down or overheat in hot conditions. Here at JD’s Auto Repair, we want to offer you some useful advice on how to reduce the risk of problems with your vehicle in the hot summer months. Here are our top 5 DIY tips for tuning up your vehicle in summer.
Regularly Clean the Battery Terminals
Summer brings with it fine dust and dirt that get everywhere. When you’re driving at high speed, your engine is sucking in that warm, dusty summer air. Additionally, the warm weather can make your battery swell slightly, which can also make the terminals expand and therefore be more susceptible to collecting dirt. With dirty battery terminals, you may find that your vehicle struggles to start or many of your electronics cut in and out. To clean these terminals, start by disconnecting the cables and sprinkling some baking soda on each terminal. Then spray them with some water and let the paste sit and dry for about an hour. Wipe away the residue and your terminals will be clean and ready for some more driving action!
Shade Your Vehicle
We all know that cars get extremely hot in the direct sun. This is why you should never leave pets in vehicles on hot days. However, have you ever thought about the damage that this heat could be doing to your vehicle’s interior? High heat can crack, warp, and bleach vehicle interiors. It can also have an effect on how well your dashboard works by warping the materials that hold your speed dials and other dials in place. Make sure you use a sunshade whenever you park your car in direct sunlight in the hot summer months.
Check the Pressure of Your Tires
As the rubber of your tires shrinks and expands with the changing temperatures, it also changes the pressure. You may want to add or release a bit of air to achieve the recommended tire pressure from your vehicle’s user manual. This is especially important before going on long road trips.
Top Up That Coolant
This is quite an obvious one, but keeping your coolant topped up is extremely important. Your vehicle will go through coolant very quickly in the hot weather, so you may need to check and change it every few weeks during a summer heatwave. If you ever feel like your engine is overheating or the overheating warning light flashes on your dashboard, make sure you pull over and check the coolant before disaster strikes. An overheated engine can be very expensive and time-consuming to fix!
Check the Belts and Hoses
Your fan and radiator will be working overtime during the hottest months of the year, so you’ll want to ensure you check them regularly. As belts are mainly made of rubber, they can become brittle and stretch in the summer sun. If you notice any strange sounds or any leaks coming from your vehicle, check to make sure it’s not a torn fan belt or leaking radiator hose. These issues will quickly lead to overheating and damage.
Summer is surely the best time of year to go for an enjoyable drive, but it’s also the hardest on your vehicle. Make sure you keep these 5 DIY tips for tuning up your vehicle whenever you go driving this summer. It may prevent a vehicle breakdown! If you’re looking to talk to experts or have professionals look at your vehicle, give us a call here at JD’s Auto Repair. Our mechanics are always on-hand to help you with all your needs!