The summer heat can be unbearable for everyone, and it can take a toll on your car too. Whether you’re planning a long road trip or going about your regular routine this summer, there are important steps to take to ensure your vehicle is operating properly. In order to maintain your car, truck, or SUV in warmer temperatures, CalTrend experts offer their eight best summer car care tips below.
1. Keep a cool engine.
To keep your car from overheating, do this now: Check your hoses and radiator for any leaks or cracks. The radiator’s job is to pass your coolant through thin metal fins to help heat to properly exit your car. If there are any cracks or leaks in the radiator or any of the hoses, your car has a much higher chance of overheating.
2. Check your tires.
Tires are built to endure some fluctuation in tire pressure, but they generally lose or gain 1 PSI for every 10 degree change in temperature. This is why it’s so important to inflate your tires to their recommended tire pressure (refer to your vehicle’s manual to find out this number). Tires perform best when they are at the recommended PSI—proper tire inflation leads to improved fuel economy, better handling and safety, more responsive braking, etc.
3. Keep coolant and other liquids at optimal levels.
We previously mentioned that your coolant is pumped through your car’s engine to keep it cool and pushes the heat out of the vehicle, which is why it’s so important to make sure your coolant is at the recommended level. Also, check your oil. Motor oil soaks up heat and carries it away from engine components, so keeping it at the recommended level is important in warmer temperature months.
4. Replace air filters.
In general, you should replace your air filters every three months. In the summer, we recommend having your filters at least checked every month or so. In the summer, drivers use their air conditioning on a more regular basis, which can lead to more dust and other pollutants getting into your filters. Dirty filters don’t keep air particles out, which can lead to problems with your air quality and engine—dirty coils and fans can lead to a breakdown.
Bonus Tip: In addition to using A/C to keep the driver and passengers cool this summer, remember to stay hydrated!
5. Use seat covers with UV protection.
The sun’s UV rays can cause your seat upholstery to fade or crack over time, especially if your vehicle is parked outdoors this summer. One way to combat this issue is to use car seat covers with UV protection. Try UV-resistant DuraPlus car seat covers, which are available in different colors to fit your unique style.
6. Protect your dash with a sun shade.
If your car is parked outdoors for long periods of time, consider using a sun shade on your windshield. A sun shade not only protects your dash from fading, more importantly, it can also keep your car a few degrees cooler. You may also consider getting a steering wheel cover to protect your hands from a burning hot steering wheel.
7. Test your battery.
Experts say that it’s the summer heat, as opposed to winter chill, that poses a greater threat of shortening your battery’s life. To avoid being stranded on the side of the road this summer, take your car into an auto shop or your dealer for a free battery test, where the mechanic should check the battery’s charge, condition of the terminals, and how securely it’s mounted.
8. Check your brakes.
While taking your car in to have your battery tested, get your brakes checked too. Hot weather increases the heat generated from friction whenever you use your brakes, which can lead to your brakes becoming less effective or failing. Before towing your RV or heading up to the mountains for a road trip this summer, make sure your brakes are at their optimal performance.
There you have it, CalTrend’s eight essential summer car and truck care tips to keep you driving comfortably and safely during warmer months. Our CalTrend team is made up of auto enthusiasts creating top-quality products for auto enthusiasts. Our car seat covers are 100% made in the USA from high-quality materials designed to snugly fit the configuration of your vehicle’s seats. To get started, Shop Fabrics or Shop by Vehicle.