Keep Your Kia Cool This Summer with These Summer Car Care Tips
Can you believe that summer is almost here? Although it’s only May, here in the south the temps are already hitting the upper 80’s and lower 90’s! And we all know that’s a sure a sign that a sizzling summer is on the way. When it comes to your ride, the sweltering temps can spell trouble. While you can always lessen the chances of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance, take extra care that you have the following six essential summer car care tips done before driving off into the steamy summer sunset.
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Air-conditioning is a summer essential. If your system hasn’t been working properly, now’s the time to get it checked before it fails. Have a qualified mechanic check for an issues including leaks. Newer model cars also have cabin air filters to clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner’s manual for location and replacement recommendations.
Vehicle Cooling System
One of the most common summer car issues is overheating. Your car’s cooling system is critical to warm weather driving. It not only works to keep your car’s engine cool, it also works to protect your engine against corrosion, provide more efficient fuel combustion, and maintain proper oil viscosity.
Hot temperatures and low coolant levels will increase the risk of your engine overheating. Check the radiator and hoses for leaks or cracks, and make sure all connections are snug. Squeeze the hoses (when the engine is cool) to make sure they feel firm and not overly squishy or soft.
Check your coolant level and top it off if needed. You should also check the amount of coolant in the reservoir; it should be half full. If it is low, add coolant or antifreeze. If the tank is empty, there is a chance you have a leak and should take it to a professional to check.
Additionally, it is a good idea to clean out any leaves, pine needles or other debris that might have accumulated in the fins of the radiator and the air conditioning condenser.
Do you know the signs of an overheated engine? Your temperature gauge will begin rising, warning lights will come on, and steam may even come billowing out from the hood. If you notice any of these signs, pull over to a safe place, turn off the engine, and wait at least a half hour for it to cool down fully before opening the hood. Check your coolant levels, and add more if needed. If you cannot determine the problem, call for help, do not try driving again.
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Check All Fluids
Another of the important summer car care tips is to check the oil, brake, power-steering and windshield-washer fluids on a regular basis as these fluids never stop being used and consumed. Top off any low fluids, and make sure you are changing the oil as often as it is recommended for your make and model.
Inspect and Replace All Filters
Have all filters inspected and changed if needed – especially the air filter. A clogged air filter can cause poor fuel efficiency and even affect your engine’s power. Additionally, if you have a newer car, remember to check the cabin filtration system filter, too.
Checking your brakes is another important summer car care tip. Warmer temperatures can increase the temperature of your brake system and therefore cause the pads to wear more quickly. In addition, summer weather brings rain and thunderstorms, and wet brakes can be less responsive. Have your brake system checked by a professional.
Did you know that your tires are more prone to blowouts in the hot summer months? This is because we are often driving on a sizzling road with heavier loads for longer periods of time. Tires that are underinflated tires are most at risk since the lack of air pressure puts the tires’ components under increased strain. However, overinflated tires are more likely to hydroplane in a summer rainstorm. Make it a habit to check your tread check on a regular basis by sticking a penny into the groove of the tire with Lincoln’s head facing inward. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for a new set.
While batteries can fail any time of year, the change of season is a good time to have it checked. Routine care includes scraping away corrosion from posts and cable connections, cleaning all surfaces, and making sure to re-tighten all connections. If the battery caps are removable, check the fluid level and add filtered water if needed. Finally, have a professional check the battery’s charge, or see if it needs replacing.
Okay, so while a smelly car is not exactly a mechanical car care tip, it’s still something we all have to deal with. As if the discomfort of heat isn’t enough, a hot car can also mean a smelly car. Get rid of the stink by taping a dryer sheet onto the air conditioning vents. Then, when your turn on the ac, your car will get a refresher too. Another trick is to stash a box of dryer sheets under the passenger seat for maximum deodorizing. Don’t want to use dryer sheets? These DIY Car Deodorizers also work great, and they are inexpensive, too!
Hey Atlanta peeps! Ensure that your car is summer ready by scheduling an appointment with a certified mechanic at Metro Kia Atlanta today.