It’s safe to say that summer has arrived. With outside temperatures rising, you’re probably well aware that your vehicle needs a bit of extra maintenance to stay on the road and keep you cool—but are you sure you haven’t forgotten anything?
Most summertime maintenance advice has a lot to do with keeping your fluids topped off and how to keep your air conditioning system in good working order. Make no mistake about it, these tasks are indeed very important, but they’re not all you need to do for your car or truck during the hotter months.
Just in case you need to brush up on these basic summertime maintenance tasks, take a look at our previous posts on those topics:
- 3 Ways You Can Ensure Your Cooling System Is Ready for Summer
- Maintenance is Cool: Why Keeping Your Car’s Air Conditioning System in Great Shape is Important
In this article, we’ll instead be looking at three maintenance activities that even the most well-intentioned drivers tend to forget every year.
Let’s begin with a big one:
#1 – Battery Maintenance: Prevent Heat & Vibration
Battery malfunctions are such a common problem in winter that many drivers tend to forget that their vehicle’s battery also needs a little TLC during the summer months. Fortunately, these maintenance tasks aren’t terribly difficult and you should be able to manage on your own without the assistant of a mechanic.
During the warm season, heat and vibration tend to be the biggest offenders that can negatively impact your battery. Heat will cause your battery fluid to evaporate significantly faster than during the rest of the year. And while vibration is a problem year-round, it’s something you should pay special attention to during the summer since you’re likely to drive more often than in the winter.
To remedy these problems, check your battery every few weeks during the summertime. If the fluids are low, refill the water levels with distilled water. While you’re at it, clear away any visible corrosion. Finally, if your battery seems to be a bit rickety, it needs to be more firmly secured to the mount. Look for the mounting points and tighten them.
Learn more about maintaining your vehicle’s battery in our post The Top 7 Things You Must Know About Your Car Battery.
#2 – Check Your Tire Pressure More Often
While it’s true that heat will cause your tire pressure to seep a bit more quickly than in the winter, better handling and gas mileage aren’t actually the most important reasons to check your tire pressure more often during the summertime (though those benefits are good motivators).
Under-inflated tires are more likely to overheat, especially so during the summer. Overheated tires are far more likely to go flat or even blow out, making what might have been a mere inconvenience into a very dangerous driving situation.
Check your tire air pressure at least once every 30 days during the hot season. Whenever possible, try to do this when the tires are cold (e.g., in the early morning or at night). Check the spare tire pressure too!
For more tire maintenance tips, check out our post The Complete Guide to Tire Maintenance (Plus 3 Life-Extending Tips!).
#3 – Pay a Little More Attention to Your Brakes
Another maintenance activity that tends to get the most attention during the winter, don’t forget to take care of your brakes during the summer. Warm temperatures, additional driving, and stop-and-go traffic out in the heat can do a number on your braking system.
If you’re hearing any grinding, whining, or other out-of-place sounds, or if your brakes require a bit too much pressure to operate, it’s time to schedule an inspection. With proper attention and the right brake system products, you’ll be in good shape for the rest of the season.
Final Summertime Driving Considerations
A quick final thought that doesn’t have to do with vehicle maintenance—more like driver maintenance. You’ve probably heard plenty about having an emergency kit during the winter (we’ve even discussed it on the blog before), but how about for during the summer?
In addition to standard items like a first aid kit, jumper cables, and reflective triangles or flares, it’s really so much more important to keep a supply of bottled water in your trunk. It only costs a few dollars and can quite literally save your life if you break down in the heat and have to wait a while for your roadside assistance service.
If you want to make sure you have the best driving experience you can this summer, be sure to schedule a maintenance appointment with your local BG certified auto shop.
Stay cool, stay hydrated, and drive safely. From the BG Services team, we hope you have a great summer!