Sunshine, Summertime and Car Failure: Don’t Let Warm Weather Wreck Your Car
Just like cold weather can wreak havoc on your vehicle, the extreme heat of summer can likewise be detrimental to your car. Batteries, tires and cooling systems all feel the brunt of the warm temperatures. Stay on top of your vehicle’s preventative maintenance to avoid these common warm-weather issues:
Battery failure. Extreme heat can cause battery fluid to evaporate, damaging the internal structure of the battery and affecting the charging system. CarCare.Org recommends having your battery and alternator checked to make sure they are working properly and charging your battery at the correct rate. If your battery requires fluid be added, check it often and add distilled water if necessary.
The experts at Sears Auto Center also recommend cleaning off the top of your battery, as dirt and the change in temperature can cause corrosion which can affect your battery’s performance and lifespan.
Engine overheating. Your cooling system protects your engine from overheating, and in extreme heat it has to work especially hard to keep the engine cool. High temperatures can cause the water to evaporate, affecting the 50:50 water to coolant ratio in your vehicle’s radiator. Check your coolant levels every six months, and have your coolant changed it once a year.
Watch for puddles of green or orange fluid underneath your car; these are signs of coolant system leaks. Be sure to have your belts and hoses inspected for any cracks or tears that could lead to a leak. If you’re examining them yourself, check for deterioration at the ends of the hoses where they connect to the radiator or engine.
High tire pressure. Warm weather causes the pressure in your tires to rise. Rather than rely on the maximum tire pressure listed on your tire, check your car’s manual or the inside of the driver’s door for the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure. When checking your tires’ pressure, make sure to wait until they are cool, roughly 3 hours after driving your vehicle.
After a winter and spring of potholes, it’s a good idea to check your tires for any unusual wear and bulges or breaks in the sidewalls as well. Have your tires rotated to ensure even wear, and examine your tread depth to make sure your tires are up to the task. Use the penny test to determine if your tread depth measures up.
Your vehicle’s exterior also needs a little extra love in the summer. Sunlight, UV radiation, salt, dirt and air pollution can all be detrimental to your car. CarCare.Org recommends washing your vehicle weekly and waxing it every six months to help protect the paint and finish. Sunlight can also fade your interior and exterior, so park your car in a garage or in the shade as often as possible.
Bring your car into your local Sears Auto Center today and let us perform a free multi-point inspection to help you diagnose any issues you might need to address before hitting the road for the summer.