Protecting your Investment this Summer
FACT: Summer weather can be just as hard on your vehicle as in the winter. Fortunately, you can keep your vehicle in tip-top shape with routine maintenance and inspections. Here’s everything you need to check before the heat of summer arrives.
Obviously, first you will want to make sure your A/C (air conditioning) system is ready for the heat. It hasn’t been used since last summer, and winter can take it’s toll on your A/C system. You will want to have your system inspected and pressure tested. This will ensure that you are not caught sweating on the first hot day when your air conditioner is blowing warm air. Any problems that might be found can be corrected before you need to start using your A/C.
Although there are some aftermarket kits to top-off your air conditioning system, if your system is loosing pressure, you may have a leak that needs repair before recharging your A/C system. Also, A/C coolants differ from vehicle to vehicle, so using the incorrect coolant can damage your air conditioning system.
Like you, your engine want’s to be as cool as possible during the summer. Your vehicles cooling system works harder in the summer months; which is why the chance of your engine overheating in the hotter weather increases. You should check your coolant fluid levels periodically; a good rule of thumb is before the change of each season, especially summer and winter. You should schedule a complete coolant system flush every 24 months.
INJURY WARNING – Never open the radiator cap of a hot engine, rather, check the coolant overlow container. You should top off your coolant in the overflow as well; however, if you need to add fluids directly to the radiator, wait until the engine has completely cooled before removing radiator cap.
Your engine oil will be prone to viscosity breakdown more quickly in the summer due to the heat, and our modified driving habits during the nicer weather. Make sure you keep to your oil change schedule, especially if you find yourself in stop & go traffic, or if you take more short than long drives.
Your vehicle’s engine contains many different filters that each need replacing at different intervals, and many different sensors that can stop working . If your regular driving habits include dusty roads, you may want to have your filter system inspected more often than the recommended duration as listed in your vehicles owner’s manual. If you experience any idling, stalling, or loss of performance issues, your mechanic can run a full spectrum of diagnostics and tests to both your engine filters and sensors.
Use summer or all season tires. If you use different tires in the winter, make sure that you put your summer tires back on once the temperature is consistantly above 10°C (50°F). Leaving winter tires on during warmer weather will make them wear faster, requiring you to replace them sooner.
Rotate your tires every 8,000 km’s or so, ensuring they wear more evenly, to get the most life and performance from them. Once a month, check cold tire pressure on all of tires, examining them closely for
- tread wear
- worn spots
- bald patches
- exposed steel belting
- sidewalls damage or bulges
Make sure to remember to inspect your spare tire and jack periodically also.
Although winter is usually hardest on your vehicles battery, it’s necessary to check it regularly. Your mechanic can run a full diagnostic on your battery ensuring it is performing optimally, but you can still perform simple preliminary inspections on your own. Look for signs of corrosion on the battery terminals, and inspect surrounding wiring connected to the battery for damage. Make note of the year of the battery, or when it was installed. as batteries typically only last 3-5 years at best. Replacing your battery before it dies can mitigate damage to your vehicle and save you aggravation of an unexpected breakdown.
A quick routine inspection before the hot summer months can keep your car performing strong, regardless of the heat. So make sure to regularly inspect all that you are able, and plan for regular maintenance of your vehicle.
Book your summer inspection and maintenance of your vehicle today. Call Dino at DC Autocare (519) 736-5757.
- Replace Spark Plugs
- Replace Air Filter
- Replace Fuel Filter (if not interior gas tank style)
- Replace PCV Valve (if applicable)
Starts at $ 199.95 (depending on specific make and model)
includes Basic Tune-Up PLUS ...
- Decarbonizing and Engine Cleaning
- Throttle Body and Injector Cleaning
- Oil Change (if needed)
Starts at $ 369.95 (depending on specific make and model)