Warmer summer weather offers new challenges for cars. As the summer gets hotter, vehicles will overheat, oil can become thin, air-conditioning systems will fail, and tire pressure can increase and cause blowouts.
Increased ambient heat places stress on your vehicle’s components that are responsible for cooling your engine. Typically, seals and hoses are the first components to show signs of wear from weather. Inspecting coolant for proper levels and conditions is the best way to protect the cooling system of your engine. Look at the color of your coolant; if it’s murky, dark, full of debris or smelly, it’s time to get a coolant flush. Coolant care is critical to ensuring your engine components do their job correctly.
Oil breaks down and becomes thin at high temperatures. If you’re experiencing overheating issues, oil changes are recommended to ensure engine components are properly lubricated. Synthetic oil is more resistant to breaking down at higher temperatures than conventional oil, and it facilitates better engine performance. Low engine oil levels are more dangerous this time of year. This also will cause engine overheating, and it will make the remaining oil less effective because it’s thinning.
You may have used your air-conditioning system to defrost your windows in the winter, but the added workload placed on the system in the summer may cause weak components to fail. If your air-conditioning system is blowing cool, but not cold, you should have it inspected immediately. Your refrigerant could be leaking, or there may be a more serious issue. The sooner these issues are identified, the less expensive the repair will be. Also, regularly changing your cabin air filter is a great way to help your air-conditioning system perform better, while helping you breathe easier.
The summer heat also causes gases to expand. Your tires are filled with gases, and when ambient heat is combined with the heat tires generate during operation, they can fail. If you inflated your tires in the winter, make sure that they are not over-inflated in the summer.
As summer gets hotter, make sure to get your vehicle serviced. Regular vehicle maintenance can help identify issues earlier, before they cause secondary failures, which are typically more expensive and time-consuming.
By Deidre Parker