Keep Your Car Running Cool During Those Long, Hot Summer Months

Keep Your Car Running Cool During Those Long, Hot Summer Months

No matter where you live in the U.S., temperatures will be up during the summer months. These higher temperatures will invariably created added stress on your car. If everything’s running at peak efficiency, then you’ll have no problems. On the other hand, if you’ve been neglecting maintenance on your ride because you’re busy, broke, or just don’t know much about cars, then you’re probably asking for trouble. At the very least, there are a couple of basic car maintenance procedures you should take care of yourself that you don’t need to be a mechanic to accomplish.

Keep Car Safe During Summer

For one thing, when it gets really hot, it can affect your tire pressure because the temperature of the air changes. For every ten degrees of change in the external temperature, the tire pressure changes 1-2 psi (Pounds per Square Inch). Get an inexpensive tire gauge to keep in your glove compartment and check your tire pressure every time you gas up. Driving on underinflated tires can damage your tires, especially the sidewalls, which are impossible to repair. It can also adversely affect your gas mileage, so make sure that your car stays safe and gets the best mileage possible by keeping them inflated to the recommended tire pressure.

Before you drive again, lift the hood and check your battery, your coolant levels, and your oil. Doing this won’t cost you a cent, but it will cost you plenty if you neglect these important parts of your car’s engine. If there’s corrosion on your battery, you can clean it off pretty easily without spending much money. Disconnect the cables from your battery. Get some baking soda from your kitchen, mix it with water into a paste, and use that to clean any corrosion off of the battery terminals and connectors at the ends of the cables. Wipe down the cables thoroughly to remove the baking soda paste and then reconnect them. Make sure you disconnect the battery cables and look for the white crust that signals battery corrosion fairly often, especially in hot weather. Hot weather causes an adverse chemical reaction inside batteries that can cause them to fail before their time and leave you stranded somewhere in the heat, and who needs that?

Dry Summer Road

I may seem like simple common sense, but you should always check the coolant level in your radiator every time you put gas in your car. You should make sure that you have the proper amount of coolant in your radiator. This will keep your engine functioning properly even in the hottest weather. Check your oil level, too, while you’re at it. If it’s low, top it off, and have your oil changed every 3,000-7,500 miles. Do it more frequently if you do a lot of driving in the summer, and especially before a long trip.

Another bit of routine maintenance that most people neglect is checking their car’s hoses and fan belts for wear, cracks, and bad connections. A blown hose can stop your car dead in its tracks, especially if it’s a radiator hose. You don’t have to be a super mechanic to replace a worn hose, either. Just drive your vehicle to the nearest auto parts store, tell the clerk the make, model, and year of your car, and tell them which hose needs to be replaced. They can look it up online in a few minutes, give you the right hose, and you can replace it yourself. All you need is a flat-head screwdriver to loosen the hose clamps. After you’ve taken off the old hose, simply put on the new one, put the hose clamps back where they were, and tighten them down. The staff in some auto parts stores will actually help you to do this if you’re someone who never works on cars. But, even if you’re a single woman, you should learn a little bit about basic maintenance so that you can do as much as possible for yourself. It will make you more self-reliant, and it will save you money in the long run if you can maintain your car yourself.

About the Author
Vern is an expert on a variety of topics including auto care and healthy living. He’s also a writer on a new Q&A site, answering questions with his expertise in a variety of topics.

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