People like to travel during the summer. Even with expensive gasoline prices, they cannot resist the temptation of the open road and sunny sky. But before you hit the road, you can take into account some precautions to ensure the safety of your family and save some cash at the pump. Keep in mind that long drives and extreme can be tough on your car. Leaky radiators, cracked hoses, dirty filters and underinflated tires can lower the fuel efficiency of your vehicle or result in total breakdown. Consider the maintenance tips below. Whether you have a Matrix or other car models, the tips below will help you maintain your car for the summer.
Check the Tires
A lot of car owners tend to overlook the tires. Keep in mind that over-inflated, under-inflated, misaligned or worn down tires can really be dangerous especially during the summer. As temperature increases, tire pressure tends to change 1-2 PSI for every 10-degree increase in the air temperature outside. Check your tire’s sidewall or your owner’s manual to know the pressure of the tire and use a hand pressure gauge to check it. Also, you can let a professional from a service shop to do this task for you.
Change Oil and Oil Filter
Your car’s lifeblood is the oil. This keeps your engine parts running, cool, smooth and clean. The majority of owner’s manuals recommend that oil and oil filters should be changed every 7,500 miles. Oil change experts recommend every 3,000 miles or three months. Many people tend to drive heavily in the summer time when there’s a higher chance that the engine will overheat. Thus, it is important to check the oil before going on a road trip.
De-Winterize the Vehicle
There are a number of things you need to carry out to de-winterize your car. First of all, you need to get rid of snow tires. These tires will lower the fuel economy of your car because of their heaviness. If your car was not driven a lot during winter, or if you have stored it, you can check its fluid levels including power steering, transmission, differential, brake fluid and coolant to ensure there are no leaks. Also, you can change the oil as it could get thick and get a lot of condensation if it just sits in the engine during the winter. Additionally, you might have to replace or recharge your battery if have not used for some time.
Check Belts and Hose
Summer driving requires a cool engine. The hoses attached to the radiator will help in pumping the coolant to and from the car’s engine block. The belts run the fan which helps in cooling the system further. When the belts snap or hoses crack, you can expect the radiator to quickly overheat leaving you in the middle of nowhere.
Check houses for leaks, loose connections or cracks. Hoses must be firm and not malleable. Remember that hoses suffer from electrochemical degradation slow deterioration process, which eats the rubber hose material away from the inside. The hose’s most sensitive parts are the ones closest to the camps where hoses connect to the engine or radiator.