Is Your Car Ready for the Summer Heat?

April 3rd, 2014 by

Toyota Emblem Outside A Car DealershipWhen the weather is hot, it can create a lot of problems for your vehicle but there are things you can do to get your car ready for the summer heat. As the temperature rises, it can become very uncomfortable, so you’ll need to turn on your air conditioner.

If it’s been awhile since it was on then now’s a good time to have it checked out. Don’t wait until it gets really hot to try it, just in case it’s not cooling properly. If you notice a problem or just want to be certain it’s working correctly, visit your favorite Toyota dealership to have it checked out.

In addition to staying comfortable, you don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road, so performing general maintenance on your vehicle is important.

General Maintenance Tips

Keeping your car properly maintained will help to reduce the risks of having it break down due to the heat. Have your battery checked and replace it if it’s old because the heat can easily kill the cells in a weak battery. Change the fuel and air filters to help keep the engine running smoothly and while you’re at it, check your windshield wipers so you’ll be prepared when stormy weather rolls in.

Did you know that heat could cause the air pressure in your tires to rise? When it gets hot during the day and cools off at night, the pressure can go up and down. Therefore, you need take a few minutes and check your air pressure anytime the temperature changes significantly, so you can maintain proper inflation. Over or under inflated tires will wear them out faster and it can pose a safety hazards.

You’ll also need to have your oil changed because manufacturers normally recommend you switch to heavier weight oil in the summer than what you run in the cooler months. You can see the recommended weight for your particular vehicle by looking in the owner’s manual.

Overheating Is a Big Problem

Overheating is the main reason for breakdowns in the summer because hot weather can really affect your car’s cooling system. The radiator has to work twice as hard to keep the engine cool and that can lead to problems. Overheating most often occurs in the city where you have to sit at traffic lights or when you’re stuck in a traffic jam due to an accident or excessive traffic. However, it can happen anytime and without warning.

Check your radiator and the rubber gasket in the radiator cap to make sure they’re in good shape. The cap keeps the radiator pressurized, so the thermostat will open properly when the engine reaches a certain temperature. For this reason, if the gasket is cracked or dry rotted, you need a new cap.

Check your hoses to make sure they’re not dry rotted or have pinholes anywhere and make sure the clamps securing the hoses to the radiator are tight. Experts also recommend that you add coolant to your radiator and run a mixture of half water and half antifreeze. This will help your engine to run cooler.

Taking the time to have your vehicle checked out before the hot weather sets in will help keep it running smoothly all summer long by reducing the risks of breakdowns due to heat related problems. Is your car ready for the summer heat? If not, you still have time to get it in shape.

Posted in Car Buying