How To Prepare Your Car for A Carefree Summer
Updated June 17, 2020
Temperatures are rising, the heat of summer is descending, and many of us on Vancouver Island are more than ready for the arrival of another beautiful summer season. It’s time to relax and have fun. But car maintenance of and regular care of your vehicle is just as crucial during patio season as other times of the year.
Summer can be hard on vehicles. In addition to family vacations and neighborhood bar-b-ques, the season brings dust, heat, and a lot of unnecessary traffic. These factors will contribute to the wear and tear of your automobile — if the necessary steps aren’t taken. Below is a detailed breakdown of summer car care tips we recommend before hitting the road this summer.
Have Your Vehicle’s Air Conditioning System Inspected
Car air conditioning is a must to ensure comfortable transportation during the summer months. Air conditioners are more likely to break down in the warmer months because it is the time of year when they are used most.
Prevent the experience of roasting through a slow-moving summer construction zone by having the air conditioning unit of your vehicle inspected by a qualified auto mechanic/technician. A skilled mechanic will inspect your car AC system as well as the following:
- Check your cabin air filter.
- Ensure refrigerant levels are proper.
- Address build-up in the evaporator.
If you have never serviced your car air conditioning unit before, then it’s likely time to do so. If you’re unsure how often to have it inspected, consult your owner’s manual for the recommended maintenance interval.
Protect Your Engine from Overheating
Seasoned car owners will tell you that the summer heat is no joy for car owners. The season’s high temperatures are the leading cause of breakdowns in the Greater Victoria Area from June to September, as many engines overheat during this period.
Before venturing over the Malahat for a lazy tube-ride down the Cowichan River, be sure your vehicle’s engine can handle the heat. Regularly check and replace your coolant to avoid overheating. You should also consult your car manual to know after how long you should check your cooling systems and flush the coolant.
Get an Oil Change
Many car manuals advise car owners to change the engine oil and its filter per every few thousand kilometers, but that guideline should be adjusted depending on actual vehicle usage. If you use your vehicle to carry heavy luggage/goods or take long extended trips, more frequent oil changes are recommended.
Take your car to a certified technician with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and have them change the oil and filter in your vehicle. This preventative maintenance will reduce the chances of breakdowns or complications with your vehicle during a summer road trip.
Ensure Optimal Engine Performance
During the summer, ensure you do your car maintenance on time, especially if you drive in dusty conditions. Dust and sand are problematic for your vehicle’s engine because of their ability to contaminate essential engine parts, such as the cabin air filter or your engine’s electrical systems.
For your engine to perform at its optimum strength, you need to have it regularly serviced and maintained. This is done to avoid car problems that are often exaggerated by extremely hot weather. Regular check-ups during the summer months will help prevent being stranded on the side of the road in the heat.
Replace Windshield Wiper Blades
An obscured windshield is a nightmare for any driver, regardless of the season. It limits your field of vision, causes eye fatigue, and poses a safety hazard. Help keep your windshield clean and clear by regularly replacing your windshield wiper blades.
When is the right time to replace your vehicle’s windshield wiper blades? When you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s time to consider upgrading your blades to newer ones.
- Wiper blades contact with windshield glass is reduced.
- Wiper blades squeak, smear, or skip.
- A change in visibility while operating wipers is observed.
In addition to ensuring your windshield wipers are in good condition, be sure that your car is well stocked with plenty of water or windshield washer solvent.
Replace Worn Out Tires
As a responsible car owner, it is vital to regularly check your tires for wear and tear. If you are using old and worn out tires, you might put yourself in danger as they won’t have a firm grip on the road. This makes it extremely hard to stop when you engage your brakes. Plan on scheduling a tire replacement soon.
Routine tire rotation and alignment is an easy way to extend the life of your tires and prevent potential problems that could originate from uneven tire wear. If your car is not equipped with a tire pressure sensor, you should check your tire pressure weekly.
Purchase a Quality Used Vehicle
If your vehicle is well past its prime in your eyes, consider replacing it with a quality used vehicle. Breaking down is never a welcome experience, but it can be especially hard in the summer months if you find yourself stranded while on vacation.
Before purchasing a new-to-you car, truck, or SUV, figure out what you need in a vehicle and what your budget will allow. For some tips on how to buy a reliable used car, take a look at this past article for information and advice you can rely on.
Enjoy a Carefree Summer
Before heading up-island or escaping to the mainland this summer, be sure your vehicle is ready to keep up with your vacation plans. For guaranteed peace of mind, book an appointment for summer car maintenance with a qualified mechanic. They can easily take care of every maintenance tip we’ve discussed and ensure your summer travels will be smooth and easy.