Get your Vehicle Summer Ready
To get your vehicle summer-ready requires doing a few easy things to keep it in top shape as the temperatures rise. In the following paragraphs, we’ll provide you with a few tips for keeping your car in good shape as summer begins.
Make Sure Your Oil is Clean
The first thing you need to do is take the dipstick out of your car and check the oil level and colour. You’re good to go if the oil is still a pleasant amber colour and matches the fill line. Whenever the colour is amber but low, add some more. If it’s black and dirty, replace it as soon as possible.
Make Sure Your Brakes are Working
The brakes go through a lot of wear and tear during winter. Due to the high temperatures of the brake pads meeting with cold water or deep puddles, they often undergo extreme thermal cycling and vast temperature fluctuations. When summer comes, you should think about summer vehicle maintenance.
You can easily inspect your brakes by removing your wheels. You can remove the brake pads and examine them for cracks and signs of serious wear. Make your mechanic aware of any damage so he can have it checked or replaced if necessary.
Check Your Coolant
You should also check the level and mix of coolant. It’s important to have a full overflow tank. If you want your cooling system to perform at its best, you should replace the coolant every year.
Make Sure the Transmission Fluid is Clean
Consult your owner’s manual if you drive a car with an automatic transmission to check your transmission fluid level. You might not have to, as some cars come with lifetime transmission fluid, although you you should also inspect that every 50,000 miles or so.
The transmission fluid level should match the manufacturer’s recommendation, and it should be an attractive, bright red colour. You don’t want too much or too little transmission fluid in your torque converter. Too much will cause overpressure problems such as rough shifting and slippage. As indicated by the SAE number in your manual, ensure it’s filled with the recommended ATF mix.
Note that you’ll need to check the fluid level more frequently if you have a manual transmission. The fluid should be level with the plug hole on most transmissions. You can also ask your mechanic to check it if you’re uncertain.
Check the Brake Fluid
Your summer car maintenance should include checking the brake fluid and the tires. Since the brakes operate hydraulically, and brake fluid is just a heated hydraulic fluid, there are a few things you need to know.
In extreme cases, brakes can fail due to not having enough brake fluid. Near the base of your windshield, you’ll find a brake fluid reservoir. You should see clear water, and the reservoir level should be at or near its full mark. Fill it to the mark if it’s low. An experienced shade tree mechanic can flush and replace the brake fluid it if it’s grimy and dark. It can be done in a few hours by someone who knows what they’re doing.
Never reuse a brake fluid bottle once it’s been opened due to its hydrophilic nature. The fluid attracts moisture through the air and becomes less effective after the bottle has been opened.