Just as icy roads and freezing temperatures can do a number on your car, the same goes for the dog days of summer. Excessively high temperatures can wreak havoc on everything from your car’s battery, tires and cooling system to the exterior paint and windshield wipers. With fuel prices hitting historic lows, more people are taking to the open road than ever for that long awaited summer vacation. With coolers packed and Fido or a baby on-board, the last thing anyone wants is their trip to the water park or Granny’s or the Grand Canyon for that matter, stopped in its tracks due to a roadside breakdown. So what does the average road warrior need to be aware of to prepare for safe summer travel?
Pay close attention to:
• Filters and fluids – these include your engine oil, antifreeze/coolant, windshield washer, power steering, brake and transmission fluids. Each one of these fluids plays an important role in your car’s overall function. And dirty air filters can waste gas and cause your engine to lose power.
• Hoses and belts – These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system. Frayed, worn or cracked hoses and belts need to be replaced. One cracked hose can literally destroy your engine if it is not addressed.
• Brakes – Check your car’s brake system and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
• Tires – including tire pressure and tread. Under inflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots to avoid a blow out.
• Battery – Excessive heat accelerates corrosion of your car’s battery. Check your battery’s fluid levels and check for corrosion. Have your battery cleaned regularly to extend its use and prevent breakdowns.
• Windshield Wipers – Those feisty summer thunderstorms are a much bigger problem with worn windshield wiper blades. Diminished visibility is a huge road safety concern. Check your wiper blades consistently and replace them when they show any signs of wear.
• Lights - Right up there with wiper blades, your cars lights are one of it’s most important safety features. Regularly Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses.
So don’t be afraid to hit the road this summer. Just be pro-active and remember that just like the people that drive them, cars benefit from regular, year round maintenance. Follow the common sense guidelines you would for your own health and you can’t go wrong! After all, you’re responsible for your car’s health too.
J-Tech Institute is proud to be training the next generation of skilled automotive mechanics. J-Tech graduates are able to launch their careers in the automotive industry with the confidence that comes from training with experienced instructors, who have real-world industry knowledge and skills. Call us today at (877) 447-0442 for information on how you can become another J-Tech success story.