Keeping your vehicle maintained is important for the overall efficiency of it during the summer when you drive. Part of this includes several inspects to various parts of the vehicle. Tires are the single most important part of your car. They have an enormous impact on performance and safety. A worn or underinflated set of tires can be detrimental to handling and braking and can lead to blow-outs at speed. Check for bulges in the sidewalls, uneven wear, or visible wear bars. If you see any of the above, replace the tire. Any time there is an issue, it is important to have it checked as soon as possible. By doing so, you can help save time, money, and stress in the long run.
Check Your Brakes
Brake pads often suffer extreme thermal cycling. Huge temperature changes due to the high heat of use meeting with water or deep puddles. Removing your wheels often helps with a brake inspection. They can be checked for wear and cracking. They will also be inspected so the brake rotors or drums have no significant cracking.
Get A Car Wash
Interiors become filled with dirt and tracked-in grime. Clean your car top to bottom, inside and out. Use good, high-quality cleansers and high-pressure water on the outside to get rid of salt and trapped sand, and be sure to hit the wheel wells and underbody. Clean all that junk out of the trunk and remove litter from under the seats. Vacuum and wash the funk-filled carpets and clean the inside of the windows. Also take time to properly wash and treat the engine bay. It may sound unnecessary, but it’s much easier to diagnose leaks or aging parts when everything is clean.
Check Your Oil
Pull out your car’s dipstick and check the level and color of the oil. If it is still a shade of amber and meets the fill mark, you’re fine. If it’s amber but low, top it off. If it’s black and nasty, change it as soon as possible. Regular oil should last 4000-5000 miles with no problem; synthetics should go for 6000-7000 miles between changes.
Check the Other Fluids
Inspect your coolant level and coolant mix. The overflow or radiator tank should be full, and a coolant tester available at any auto parts store will tell you if the water to ethylene glycol ratio needs to be adjusted for maximum cooling. Change your coolant at least once a year for maximum performance.
Power-steering fluid is often overlooked in general servicing, but it’s important to keep it topped off and clean. Low steering fluid can lead to increased steering effort and premature failure of your power steering pump; dirty fluid can lead to premature failure of the entire system, which is never cheap to fix. Check your owner’s manual for specifics on how to check your fluid level. If the fluid is low, fill to the maximum. If it’s dark brown have the power steering system flushed and refilled.