5 Summer Car Care Considerations

5 Summer Car Care Considerations
  • Opening Intro -

    Summer and winter are the two most taxing seasons on your car, as extreme temperatures can test your vehicle like nothing else.

    As for the summer, heat and traffic jams can conspire to cause your vehicle to overheat, possibly leading to a break down that can interrupt your vacation.


You can avoid both the inconvenience and a steep repair bill by taking care of important maintenance issues before you leave on your next trip.

1. Inspect your tires. Never leave on a trip without inspecting your tires first, including the spare tire. Tires should have sufficient tread left and be inflated to proper levels. Those proper levels are posted on a placard located on the driver’s door jamb or in your glove box. Your owner’s manual has that car care information too.

2. Check out the fluid levels. Your fluids should be clean and filled before you head out. The transmission fluid should be replaced every other year and your radiator may be due for a flush. Make sure that your brake fluid is clean and if you’re due for an oil change get that done before you leave.

3. Examine wires and hoses. Lift up and secure the hood of your car. Check wires and hoses to ensure that everything is secured and in good condition. Loose clamps, frayed wires and split hoses will put you at risk of a break down. Tighten or replace before you leave.

4. Scrutinize the battery. If your battery fails, you’ll get stuck. Clean the battery posts and check the connections. If your battery is more than three years old, then it is nearing or has already passed its useful life. Replace it with a new one to leave no doubt as you head out.

5. Wash and wax your car. Washing your car regularly is important as this will help keep its surface clean and freed of harmful dirt and road salt build up. Just before you leave on vacation, give your car a thorough cleaning. Then wax it. Your vehicle will be exposed to many miles of potential road gunk and debris, and face hours of endless sunshine that can mar its finish.

Emergency Checklist

There are a few other matters to handle before you leave on your next summer road trip. First, verify that your auto club membership is up to date. You want uninterrupted access to roadside assistance while you’re away from home. Second, bring a cell phone charger. You may need it to keep your cell phone usable if you need to place a call for help. Third, replenish your emergency kit. Every car should have one and this kit can include jumper cables, flares, duct tape, water, hoses, belts and a working flashlight with backup batteries.

The time to give your car a thorough inspection is not the day before you leave on your trip. At least a week out you should examine your vehicle and make needed repairs right away. And if your brakes haven’t been inspected in some time, you’ll want to have them checked too.


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Categories: Autos Express

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".