Now that summer's here, we hope you're rolling down the windows and enjoying the sunshine and warmth that come with the change in season. To avoid getting stuck on the side of the highway in the blazing heat, give your car a bit of love and attention this summer. Before the extreme heat of summer kicks in, review these car care tips to keep your car running in tip-top shape.
1. Catch up on your basic car maintenance.
Have you given your car a proper checkup since spring? If not, now is the time to…
- Wash your car
- Vacuum your floor mats
- Have your tires rotated
- Check your tire pressure
- Check your brakes
- Check your inspection sticker expiration date
- Check your fluid levels
2. Review your car insurance policy.
If you’re approaching summer with a lot of maintenance costs on your plate, consider alleviating one by switching to cheaper car insurance. You can start by looking up affordable car insurance online. While you browse, check into getting a prior coverage discount. Some car insurance providers offer an additional discount when you switch from one provider to another.
3. Replace your windshield wipers.
Winter snow, ice, and sleet can take a toll on your windshield wipers. Thought it depends on where you live and the weather in that area, the rubber portion of a wiper generally only lasts six months to one year, says DMV.org. To avoid squinting through a blurry windshield during a surprise summer sun-shower or thunderstorm, replace your windshield wipers early and often.
4. Care for your air conditioning.
There's nothing worse than broken A/C in the middle of July. Keep up with your car's air conditioning by replacing the air filter (if it's too dirty) and checking your coolant levels. If your car's A/C is not salvageable or it's not within your budget to get it fixed for a while, there are still many ways you can stay cool without A/C.
5. Prepare for breakdowns and emergencies.
Accidents happen, and being stranded on the side of the road in the middle of summer is nobody's idea of a good time. Fortunately, there are a handful of things you can do to prepare for summer emergencies. Gather supplies for an emergency kit. Start with items like...
- Bottled water
- Road flares
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
- Extra cell phone battery or portable battery charger
- Non-perishable food that can withstand the summer heat in your car
- Car jack
- Tire iron
You might also want to consider purchasing a roadside assistance plan. You’ll have access to services like 24-hour emergency towing, lockout service, and mechanical help for things like flat tires or dead batteries.
6. Invest in a sunshade.
If you park your car in direct sunlight, you’ll soon find yourself sitting in a vehicle that feels like an oven. Prevent that roasting feeling by putting a sunshade in your windshield every time you park. Not only will your car stay cooler, but you’ll keep your car’s interior from fading. You could also leave your windows slightly cracked open, if possible.
Follow these tips and keep up with your maintenance, insurance, and emergency preparedness, and you’ll be well on your way to staying cool this summer. Whether you’re driving your usual route to work or on a cross-country summer road trip , your car will thank you.