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Get Your Vehicle Ready for Summer Driving

Get Your Vehicle Ready for Summer Driving

May 17, 2024    Car Care

May Long Weekend is coming soon, which means warm-weather adventures and road trips are also on the horizon. Is your vehicle ready?

If you’re planning on hitting the highway, it’s important to take some simple measures to ensure trouble-free driving in the months ahead. Keep reading for an easy checklist to follow!

GET YOUR TIRES CHECKED

It’s key to check the pressure in your tires. Make sure they meet the manufacturer’s recommendations, which can be found in the manual. Also, take a walk around your car and inspect the tires for any major damage. Using a tire gauge, measure the tread depth of each tire. If the tread is less than 2 mm, it’s probably a good time to get them replaced.

TOP UP YOUR FLUIDS

Summer means bugs, dust and other things dirtying your windshield. Make sure to top up your washer fluid and switch over to a summertime formulation. This type of washer fluid will do a better job of dissolving proteins found in bug splatter. Just don’t forget to swap it out again before winter!

Make sure you are also replenishing other important fluids such as coolant, brakes, transmission and power steering. Once again, refer to your manual for the details on what to use and how often to get them changed.

CHANGE YOUR OIL

On the topic of fluids, checking your oil is crucial for long trips. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended length of time and/or kilometres between changes. You can also check the oil level at home in between mechanic visits. Your dipstick should be light brown and reach the marking on the stick – if the oil comes out thick and black, get the oil changed as soon as possible.

TEST THE BATTERY

It’s never a bad idea to have your battery tested at the beginning of summer. Your battery has to work much harder in hot temperatures to keep your car cool. Start your engine and listen for signs – if you notice it’s a slow start, it might be time for a new battery and a visit to your mechanic.

CHECK AIR CONDITIONING

Daytime driving in the summer can get toasty, so it’s best to take a test drive with your air conditioning running. Pay close attention to any stops in cooling. If something doesn’t seem right or your car isn’t cooling down, book an appointment with your local auto shop.

TRY THE HEADLIGHTS & BRAKE LIGHTS

Long road trips often mean nighttime driving, so make sure your headlights and brake lights are in top shape. While you’re at it, test out your turn signals, hazards and interior lights to feel confident everything is working properly.

LOOK UNDER THE HOOD

Keep in mind that warmer temperatures speed up the degradation of rubber. Pop your hood and examine all the belts and hoses for any bulges, cracks or cuts in the rubber. If anything shows obvious signs of wear, replace it.

WASH YOUR CAR

Not much beats a freshly washed car before a long cruise on the highway! Not only does a thorough scrubbing remove dirt and salt, but it can help prevent rust buildup on the car’s undercarriage. Some touchless car washes offer an undercarriage cleaning option. To give your car’s exterior and interior an at-home wash, check out this previous blog post.

PUT TOGETHER AN EMERGENCY KIT

You can never be too prepared, which is why putting together an emergency kit for your car is always a smart move. Gather up first aid supplies, flashlight, jumper cables, jack, tire gauge, blanket, bottled water and flares – and stash the kit in the trunk for any worst-case scenarios.

By following this checklist, you can prevent common summer car problems so you can enjoy the beautiful weather and long road trips with peace of mind. If you’re not comfortable doing car maintenance yourself, we can help! Bring your vehicle down to one of our dealerships and we’d love to get your car in ship shape for the rest of the summer. Find a Birchwood Credit location near you.

Brandish Digital
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