Summer is the season for driving. Whether you’re embarking on a cross-country vacation or just taking your roadster out on the town, you’ll want to make sure that your car is properly prepped for summer driving.
Here are eight things you should do to prepare your car for summer driving:
- Wash it. This has more to do with protecting your car than making it look clean. You want to wash off all traces of winter salt and other de-icing chemicals, especially in the undercarriage, which often gets overlooked. You should also clean your car’s interior with the proper leather or vinyl treatments to protect the upholstery from the sun and heat.
- Use the right tires. If you’ve been driving on snow tires, swap them out for a summer set. Snow tires get worse gas mileage and wear out quickly on hot pavement.
- Check the air pressure. Even if you have all-weather tires, the pressure can change depending on the temperature. Improperly inflated tires produce lower gas mileage, wear out more quickly and are more prone to blowouts.
- Inspect the windshield wipers. They wear out about once a year and can become worn or torn by dealing with the ice of winter. Luckily, they’re inexpensive and easy to replace on your own.
- Inspect the hoses and belts. Visually and physically inspect them for cracks or weak spots.
- Check the battery. You can have it tested, usually for free, at a repair shop or auto parts store.
- Check the coolant system. Summer driving does put more strain on the coolant system. Make sure the radiator is full and check the antifreeze mixture. Despite its name, antifreeze is just as important in summer for raising the boiling point of the coolant.
- Change the motor oil. Some auto manufacturers and mechanics recommend using different grades of motor oil for winter and summer driving, to adjust for differences in temperature and the resulting change in oil viscosity.