How Should You Prepare Your Car for the Summer?

Summer can take a serious toll on your car.

Think about it. While you’re busy preparing for a vacation and smothering yourself in lotion, you might neglect to care for your vehicle as you should.

Perhaps you leave it parked in direct sunlight for hours on end. Maybe you keep getting caught up in heavy vacation traffic that sees you stopping and starting your engine every few seconds, putting more strain on it.

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us fail to prepare our car for the summer properly.

Below, you’ll find six pro tips to help you get the job done.

  1. Check your Air Conditioning

    Air conditioning is a must for driving in the summer months. Depending on your local climate, you may be exposed to blistering heat day after day. Nothing can ruin a vacation drive or a day out with the family like being stuck inside a sweltering car without air conditioning.

    Make sure to perform a comprehensive check of your air conditioning system before summer arrives. Ideally, you should have been cycling it on and off throughout winter to keep its seals and pumps lubricated properly.

    As the weather starts to heat up, switch your air conditioning on to assess its performance. Can you feel cold air blowing on each of the various settings?

    If not, or if the air is slightly cool but not as cold as you’ll need, you may have to take your car to an expert. Alternatively, be sure to ask for it to be checked next time you get an oil change or other essential treatment. Your cabin air filters may need to be changed.

  2. Your cooling system must be inspected

    A leading cause of breakdowns in summer is overheating. Your cooling system has to perform at its best to prevent your engine falling prey to this common issue.

    Ideally, the cooling system has to be flushed and refilled once per two years, at least. Make sure an expert checks your coolant’s condition, concentration and level on a regular basis. Generally, a mix of 50 percent distilled water and 50 percent antifreeze is recommended for best results.

  3. Pay attention to your oil

    You should change your oil and filter every 3,000 miles or so (either with help from an expert or by following your manufacturer’s manual).

    While warm temperatures can help to keep oil flowing smoothly, it has to be the right viscosity for your car. Using the wrong one may cause real problems as temperatures continue to soar, as the oil will be too thin to provide adequate lubrication.

    Engine components may start to generate too much friction, causing potential failures.

  4. Have your engine filters replaced

    Summer means more dust on the roads. Sadly, these can cause filters to clog with surprising ease, which reduces the engine’s airflow and — ultimately — its performance.

    Take your car for regular services and request filter changes before summer arrives. Keep this up during the hottest months too, to minimize your risk of clogged filters.

  5. Have tires checked and changed

    You should check your tires’ inflation regularly, such as once per month. If yours are over-inflated, blowouts are more likely, while under-inflated tires tend to wear quickly.

    Both potential problems can be worsened in hot weather. Consider switching to summer tires as temperatures rise: these are designed to cope with hot roads better than those made with softer rubber.

  6. Never neglect your brakes

    While you’re checking your car and having it inspected by a pro, pay attention to your brakes. If you plan on doing lots of driving with the family or are heading cross-country by car, you’ll need to know you have a proper brakes system in place.

    If you notice any unusual noises or your stopping distance increases, make getting your brakes checked a priority.

The six tips above can help you prepare your car for summer. However, if you experience engine failure, brake problems or other vehicular problems while driving, trust your local Toronto towing service to help!