Summertime temperatures can do a number on your vehicle. Milex Complete Auto Care has some tips to keep your car running smoothly during the hot summer months.
If you’ve complained about high temperatures this summer, you’re not alone. As Europe battled an unprecedented heat wave last month, temperatures in the United States are also climbing. June marked the world’s sixth hottest month on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. At least 100 million Americans were under excessive heat warnings during the third week of July as temperatures rose well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit across the United States. Although this stretch of warm weather will pass, high temperatures are prompting Americans to crank their air conditioning and avoid outdoor activities to stay cool.
Summertime is Tough on Cars
Did you know that more vehicles break down in the summer than in any other season? The high temperatures take a toll on your car. While using a windshield shade or parking under a tree can keep the temperature down in the interior of your car, finding solutions to protect your car’s engine during hot weather takes proper maintenance and preparation. Here are some steps Milex Complete Auto Care recommends taking to protect your car as temperatures climb.
- Top Off Coolant. Your car’s radiator helps protect your engine from overheating. Before temperatures get any warmer, top off the coolant. You can check your coolant level by looking at the overflow reservoir, which is clear plastic and located near the radiator. Make sure your engine is cool and your car is parked on a level grade to get an accurate reading. It should be easy to see if your coolant reaches the maximum fill line marked on the container. Top it off with a 50/50 solution of water and coolant if it is low. While you’re under the hood, look at the color of your coolant. If it is colorless or looks sludgy, it may be a sign of a more serious problem and should be looked at by a mechanic.
- Clean Battery. Make sure your car battery’s terminals and clamps are free of rust to prevent your battery from dying during hot summer weather. It’s a good idea to get your car’s battery life tested at the beginning of summer to make sure it’s ready for your summer road trips.
- Check Tire Pressure. Hot roadways can wreak havoc on underinflated tires. All year round, driving on underinflated tires makes them prone to overheating. Add in the hot summer roadways, and it may lead to a blowout. Luckily, this problem has an easy fix. Make sure your tires are properly inflated by testing the PSI with an inexpensive tire pressure gauge, and add air if necessary.
- Get Brakes Checked. Hot weather can interfere with brake fluid and potentially cause brake failure. A quick trip to the mechanic to get your brakes tested can avoid any issues during the summer.
- Avoid Air Conditioning Problems. Before the start of the season, have your mechanic make sure your air conditioning is in good condition. Rolling the windows down and feeling the wind in your hair is fun but it shouldn’t be necessary for staying cool when you are on the road. If you notice your air conditioning isn’t cooling, it may be time to add refrigerant and be checked out by an expert. Changing your cabin air filter can go a long way to helping your AC do its job.
- Apply Wax. The sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays can fade your car’s paint job. Protect the exterior by applying a wax to the exterior.
Taking these steps will help protect your car during extreme temperatures. It’s a good idea to store an emergency kit with water, a flashlight, first-aid kit, and some snacks in case you do encounter a problem.
Milex Complete Auto Care’s skilled mechanics are ready to help keep your car in prime condition this summer. To find a local Milex in your area, visit: www.milexcompleteautocare.com and schedule an appointment today.