Car care tips to ensure your vehicle does not overheat or breakdown

The weather is heating up, and the windows are being rolled down – it’s summertime! Our families may be taking a vacation from school and work, but we still need to focus our attention on car care and maintenance. While the heat of the season can pose severe challenges for our vehicles, there are steps you can take to ensure your car is properly cared for so that your vacation does not end up as a “stay-cation.”

1. Essential Fluids

Our cars need to stay hydrated, therefore it is extremely important to check the level of coolant and ensure that there are no leaks from the hoses. The hoses should also feel firm rather than soft. Along with the coolant, be sure to watch the oil, brake, power-steering, and windshield-wiper fluids.

2. Belts

The serpentine belt runs between several components of your engine and is used to keep your alternator, power-steering pump, air conditioning, and even your water pump running smoothly. A squealing sound from under the hood may hint at loosening or deterioration of the belt. It is important to watch for cracks or missing pieces. If these appear, it is time for a replacement.

3. Windshield Maintenance

Our travels can often take us off of the highways and interstates and onto dirt and gravel backroads. Excess sediment can be flung up from other cars and into our windshields. Small cracks and chips should be dealt with immediately. Any crack larger than six inches will call for a full windshield replacement. It is also important to keep your windshield clean.
Dirt and grime has a tendency to build up over extended periods of time, so we don’t typically notice it. Haze can diffuse sunlight and cause glares, making it hard to see where you’re going.
Rain will not provide a thorough cleaning job, nor will worn wipers won’t do you any good. They can leave streaks across your windshield and add to your frustration of a lack of visibility.

4. Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is not something we typically think about during the winter, and it is always fun to just enjoy the breeze flowing in through the windows. On hotter days, however, it can be frustrating when your car is only blowing lukewarm air. A lack of cold air can result from a refrigerant leak. Instead of breaking the bank to have your air-conditioning system recharged, just check with your mechanic and have them inspect the problem.

5. Air Filter

Over the winter, your air filter can become clogged with salt and road debris. It is always a good idea to check the filter to see if you can clean it out or possibly replace it with a new one. A clean air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%.

6. Tires

If you should remember anything from high school, draw your mind back to chemistry. You probably learned that as temperature increases, pressure increases. In terms of car care, as the temperature rises, your tire pressure rises with it. Because of this, the chance of a blowout or accelerated deterioration is much higher. Keep your tires properly inflated and keep an eye out for any holes or punctures.

While treating yourself to a fun-filled summer, keep your vehicle in mind. Proper car care maintenance can go a long way in keeping your vehicle on the road and out of the repair shop. However, if you have any concerns, our certified technicians here at Courthouse Automotive would be more than glad to see you!