Summer is right around the corner, friends. It’s vacation, road-trip, boating and fun time! It’s also a great time to make sure your vehicle is ready to let the good times roll. Is your vehicle ready for the hot months of a Texas summer? The heat can take a toll on your vehicle, so it’s important to ensure that your ride is in tip-top shape. Leif Johnson Ford is here with some quick tips on how to do just that!
- Check the radiator and hoses for leaks and cracks. The radiator is located near the front of the vehicle after you open the hood, and there will be a cap enclosing the coolant. Ensure that all connections are secure, and that the reservoir is half full. Add coolant or antifreeze if it is low. Before you check under the hood, make sure the engine is cool. You could be injured if removing the radiator cap when hot or warm.
- If your temperature gauge does reach high levels or your vehicle alerts you that your engine is overheating, pull over as soon as possible and turn the heater on in your car. While this isn’t ideal for a hot summer’s day, it helps to pull the hot air off the engine block. An engine’s normal temperature is between 195 and 220 degrees, so if your gauge is beyond this range, there is a good chance that the engine is overheating.
- Inspect the air conditioning system for worn or damaged belts. You won’t get any air conditioning in your car without the help of these belts. Also inspect the fins of the air conditioning compressor. The compressor works to pressurize the air conditioning system and to circulate the refrigerant. When the fins are clear of debris, the refrigerant will do a better job of cooling your vehicle. The compressor is located at the front of the engine, and the A/C belt is routed over the compressor.
- If you are a long time Austinite, it’s safe to assume that you already have summer-ready tires. But if you’re new or visiting from a colder area, it’s possible that you have winter tires on your vehicle. Summer tires will help with speed, handling and fuel efficiency. They also have a shorter sidewall and less aggressive tread. If you do have winter tires, you’ll either need a spare set of rims or will need to bring the tires into a shop to be changed. We would be happy to help with that!
- Hot weather oftentimes increases the temperature of your brake system, and this can cause your pads to wear down faster. Make sure to check often to see how worn your brake pads are. You can check this by looking through the spaces of the wheels spokes. The outside pad will be pressed against a metal rotor. In most cases, there should be at least 1/4 of a pad remaining.
- Planning a trip or an excursion where you’ll be needing to tow your vehicle? Make sure to thoroughly inspect both your car and trailer. There are legal requirements for how much your car can tow depending on its weight, and these laws are in place to help ensure your safety. Let common sense be your guide, and always look over your car and trailer before driving off. Check that all lights are working properly, that the hitch is secure and safety chains are attached. After driving for a few hundred feet, consider pulling over to check for any load shifting.
If you have any questions about how to complete these tasks, or would like a professional to help you with the process, please feel free to call our service department. We would love to answer any questions you might have, or would love to schedule an appointment to help you make sure your vehicle is safe, sound and ready for the warmer months. Just call 512-454-3711 and ask for our service department. Summer is a time for new adventures, and we want to help you make sure that your vehicle is ready to go along for the ride.
Sources – DMV.org