Checklist: Summer Vehicle Maintenance Tips
Summer months mean family road trips and great driving weather. After a long winter, investing a little time and money in performing and recording routine car maintenance will pay off in peace of mind, cost savings, and your car’s longevity and resale value. You don’t need a sophisticated understanding of cars to perform basic car care tasks. So for safe travels and to get the most out of your summer driving, there are a few simple maintenance tips to keep your car running smoothly.
Checklist for Vehicle Maintenance During the Summer
- Regular visual checks — Visually checking your vehicle is easy and quick to do. Look for body and bumper damage for insurance purposes, leaking fluids, warning lights, and smoke in the vehicle exhaust. Additionally, check tire pressure at least every other week. Use a tire pressure gauge to check that all tires are properly inflated to the recommended pressure level as indicated on your car, the tires, or in your owner’s manual.
- Under the hood — When checking the engine, monitor engine oil level and cleanliness, coolant levels, brake and power steering fluid levels, transmission fluid, and belts. Fluid levels should be above the minimum line and below the maximum line. Replace any tubes that look worn or are leaking to prevent them from bursting. Also look for worn or exposed wire and loose or warped belts – these should be replaced immediately. Finally, your vehicle’s battery should be replaced approximately every five years.
- Changing the oil — Change the oil and oil filter regularly, at least every 5,000 miles. Oil should be clean but have a dark color after running through the engine. Different motor oils are better for certain weather conditions. 5W-40 is better for warm to hot weather and 10W-40, a heavier oil, is more appropriate for colder climates.
- Other replacements and maintenance — Other checks for your vehicle that are necessary but do not occur as regularly include checking the air filter, lights, spark plugs and cables, engine timing belt, and windshield wipers.
Regular vehicle maintenance is the easiest and most practical step you can take to prepare your car for extended summer driving.
What steps do you take to prepare your car for the summer? What are your vehicle maintenance tips and tricks?
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
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