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You Auto Know!

MAY 3, 2022

Common Question: 


"We have some family road trips planned for the summer.  Is there anything I can do right now to prepare my car for safe summer driving? I definitely don’t want to have any breakdowns!"



GREAT question! There are definitely some basic steps you can take to better prepare your car for the summer road trips.  Here are 6 Basic Summer Preparation Steps you can do right now that may help keep you and your car ready for driving the roads comfortably in the summer!

1. Check tires regularly for proper pressure and excessive wear,

Hot weather combined with underinflated tires or worn-out tread can lead to disaster. Tire pressure specifications are listed in your manual or inside the driver's door are for a cold tire, therefore, check pressures before you head out on the road.

Look at your tires for any damage or excessive wear.  An easy way to determine whether a tire has sufficient tread is to do a “penny test”.  Insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head pointed down.  If the tread does not cover Lincoln’s head, bring your car to SOS AUTO REPAIR for a professional opinion. 

2. Change your wiper blades

Extreme changes in temperature can cause cracks, breaks, and worn areas on your wiper blades that will often leave them ineffective in the summer.  If you have not changed your blades in a year, now may be the time. Also, check your wiper fluid.  Summer driving not only brings some severe weather conditions, but bugs are often in full force as well!  Visibility is important!

3. Check the cooling system

A significant cause of breakdowns can be related to coolant problems and engine overheating. The cooling system is what keeps your vehicle’s engine running at the proper and safe temperature.  Making sure your cooling system is flushed and filled properly is an important part of summer car maintenance.

Check your manufacturer’s recommendations for your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and if a flush is needed or even getting close make an appointment.

If your temperature gauge does move to the red, turn on your car’s heater immediately.  Doing this pulls the strain away from the engine. Do not drive a hot engine. Seek professional help. 

4. A/C Service Lately?

If your car does not blow cool air or the air coming from the vents is not as cold as it used to be, the system could be low on refrigerant or have a slow leak.  Getting it checked out before it becomes a problem will not only save you time and hassle but will prevent you from costly repairs later. There is nothing worse than being on the road during a hot summer without a fully functioning air conditioning system!

5. Change oil on schedule

Engine oil must be replaced at recommended intervals using the weight/viscosity of oil required by your vehicle's owner's manual. It is important to follow all maintenance intervals and recommendations.

Our trusted customer service advisors can help you choose the best oil for your car as well as give you options to help your car run the most efficiently.

It is also a good idea to check oil levels monthly. If you notice a drop in oil level or any small leaks, bring it in and let us check it out!

6. Check the battery

Unfortunately, a battery gives little warning before it goes dead, and can happen when you least expect it.  If your battery is between 3 to 5 years old and you are setting off on a long trip, consider bringing it in to get it checked out before you leave. In addition, check for corrosion on posts and connections. Those corroded posts can also lead to light malfunctions or other electrical problems.  Finally, have a pair of jumper cables in the trunk just in case.  It is always better to be prepared for the unexpected.

No one wants an emergency to happen on a summer vacation or even just driving around town, but unfortunately, cars can break down. Being prepared by maintaining your car and keeping a keen eye out for any problems, will definitely save you time, money, and hassle. 

Before your vacation trips come to SOS AUTO REPAIR and let us help! Drive carefully and have a safe start to the summer season!