In the previous article, we discussed the importance of seasonal car maintenance and shared essential tips for winter and spring. Now, let’s turn our attention to the sunnier and cooler parts of the year: summer and fall. Just as you adjust your wardrobe with the changing seasons, your vehicle also needs seasonal tune-ups to run smoothly and safely.
Summer Maintenance Tips
With the advent of summer, longer daylight hours and vacation road trips become the norm. However, the intense heat can pose challenges to your vehicle.
Air Conditioning Check
The first thing that comes to mind for summer driving comfort is a functional air conditioning (A/C) system. If your A/C isn’t cooling effectively, it may need refrigerant or have a more serious issue. Checking the A/C system before summer sets in will ensure that you’re not caught in a sweat.
Cooling System Check
High temperatures can put your vehicle at risk of overheating, making the cooling system crucial. Before summer strikes, check your coolant level and refill if needed. Additionally, it’s recommended to have the entire cooling system professionally inspected every couple of years to prevent any potential issues, such as leaks or a faulty radiator.
While winter is notorious for battery problems, summer heat can be just as harmful, speeding up the battery corrosion process. An inspection of the battery, battery cables, and terminals can prevent unexpected breakdowns.
Fall Maintenance Tips
As the summer fades and leaves start to fall, you’ll need to prepare your vehicle for cooler weather.
Brakes are a critical safety component of your car. Checking brakes and brake fluid levels in the fall gets you ready for the potentially icy and snowy roads of winter. Look out for signs of brake problems, such as squealing or grinding noises, a shaky steering wheel, or the car pulling to one side when you brake.
As daylight hours shorten in fall, your vehicle’s lights become even more important. Ensure that all lights — headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and fog lights — are working correctly. Also, consider cleaning your headlights to maximize visibility as the days get shorter.
Preparing for Winter
Fall is the perfect time to prepare your car for winter. Check your antifreeze levels and consider a radiator flush and refill if it’s been a while. Also, ensure that your heater and defroster are working correctly. If you live in a region with harsh winters, now is the time to start thinking about winter tires, which provide improved grip and handling on snowy and icy roads.
Proper car maintenance is not just a one-time activity; it is a year-round commitment. The change of seasons brings different demands on your vehicle, making seasonal car maintenance a crucial part of vehicle ownership.
Remember, the time you invest in maintaining your vehicle throughout the year will pay off in the form of reliable, efficient, and safe driving. From making sure your air conditioning works for comfortable summer drives, to ensuring your brakes are ready for winter, seasonal maintenance helps you stay one step ahead and ensures your car stays in top shape.
We hope these tips inspire you to pay close attention to your vehicle as the seasons change. Drive smart and enjoy the journey, regardless of the season!