We have almost made it. The trees are becoming green and the air is sweet with the scent of budding flowers. While there may be another snow storm waiting around the Colorado corner, summer is almost here. Like winter, summer can bring about drastic weather. As you may imagine, this can have negative effects on your vehicles. So, how do you get your car ready for summer?
Whether you plan on keeping your car or selling it in the future, keeping it in mint shape should be a high priority. The increasingly drastic sun rays and heat can be detrimental to your car, inside and out. Here are tips on how to prepare it for the coming weather.
Don’t Ditch the Ice Scraper
Sure, we can fawn over oncoming heat and sun all we want, but let’s not forget the trickly climate of Colorado. Spring may be in bloom, but that does not mean we are out of snow range yet.
A random snowstorm may appear within the spring months. Until summer finally establishes its hot head, don’t ditch your ice scraper. More than likely, an estranged snowstorm will hit the day after you take it out of your car.
We are not in the clear yet. Keep your ice scraper handy until May, at least. Before you get ready for the summer, keep the winter stuff close.
Check and Change Tires
If you barreled through the winter with snow tires, now is the time to change them. Basically, the tread on winter tires is more flexible than all-season. Therefore, using them on dry and warm roads will cause the tread to wear out quickly. That excess rubber needed to handle snow and ice will be long gone before the winter strikes back.
This may sound contradicting, for we just noted that we are not clear of snow yet, but you’re better off being without snow tires for one random storm than destroying them going forward.
Furthermore, check your tires for correct air pressure. If you increased your air pressure for the winter months, now would be the time to reduce them. Improperly pressurized tires can become overheated during the summer months. This can also reduce gas mileage.
Check your tire pressure in accordance with your car’s owner’s manual. Get ready for the summer by making sure your tires are good to roll.
Check Your AC
Do not be the person that doesn’t fire up your air conditioner until you are almost on fire. This delay may lead to one hot, soggy drive. Get ready for the summer heat in the best way we know, modern AC.
Check your AC before temperatures get out of hand. Make sure the temperature reaches cool levels and keep an ear out for any strange noises.
A problem with your air conditioner can be as simple as a lack of charge or as difficult as a leaking system. Get this worked out before it’s too late.
Prepare Your Windshield
Only the top layer of your windshield is technically affected when it is damaged or chipped from the outside. Unfortunately, extreme weather like heat or cold can make matters worse. Heat increases the temperature inside the car, causing the inside layer of glass to expand. This pushes against the middle resin and outside layer, making the outside damage worse.
Furthermore, direct sunlight can cause the car’s metal to heat up around the glass. The metal then heats up faster than the glass, causing stress. This can lead to stress fractures around the edge of the windshield.
Luckily, the latter is much less common than the former. Unless your windshield is in direct, extreme heat every day, you are fairly safe from stress fractures. If there is already a chip or crack on your windshield, heat can exasperate it immensely.
If you have a chip or crack in your windshield, now would be the best time to repair it. If you cannot, make sure not to park your car in direct sunlight on hot days.
Test Your Battery
Summer can be a rough time for car batteries. Extreme heat can cause corrosion and lower lifespans. Take the time to check your battery before temperatures get too high.
Make sure the battery works (especially if you didn’t drive the car during the winter) and check for corrosion. If there is corrosion, clean it off with baking soda and a toothbrush. Check again after a week. If the corrosion comes back, it may be time for a new battery.
Don’t risk the chances of your car not starting during a sweltering day.
Check Your Fluids
This tip goes for every season but can be especially crucial during hot months.
Check your car’s coolant and oil levels. While a common misconception is that cars need lighter oil in the winter and heavier in the summer, this is no longer true. Any car made within the last 10-15 years does not need a change in oil density during weather changes. If your car is older, check the owner’s manual to make sure.
Wipers Are Key
If you drained your car of windshield wiper fluid before the winter, now is the time to refill it. Don’t be stuck in the rain or incoming dust without windshield wiper fluid. This can lead to less-than-safe situations.
Furthermore, the rubber on windshield wipers is notorious for damage during hot months. If you did not change them before the winter, look into doing so. Torrential and sporadic summer downpours can lead to dangerous visibility if you do not have functional wipers.
Replenish Emergency Kits
Summer may lead to an increase in travel. Maybe you plan on camping monthly or going on a country-wide road trip.
Regardless of your plans, take the time to update your emergency kit.
This should include first aid, flashlights and jumper cables. Simply put, do not be stuck in the mountains without a flashlight during a summer night.
Make sure to update your safety equipment before making those vacation drives into the unknown.
Salt and grime from previous snowstorms are detrimental to your car’s paint. Now that snow is leaving the forecast, take the time to detail your vehicle before those beautiful summer days.
Not only that but washing your car is an excellent activity for warmer weather. Enjoy the moderate spring by giving your car some well-needed TLC after the rough winter.
Check Those Brakes
Before you break out for the summer (get it?), take the time to test your brakes. Winter salt can erode parts of your braking system. With salt now off the menu and summer drives upcoming, make sure that your brakes are ready to go.
Keep an ear out for grinding or squeaking noises. Also, if your brake pedal feels soft when pressed, it may be time to get them looked at.
While the summer is not necessarily harsh to car brakes, the winter is.
Make sure the winter didn’t take too much of a toll on your car before it’s too late.