Summer Car Care Tips
When summer is upon us, we can expect the gentle, warm temperatures of spring to be long gone and the gloriously hot days to return.
While you may dread this for one reason or another, here are some hints and tips to get, and keep, your vehicle in shape for summer!
Wax On and Wax Off
The sun can really damage your paintwork and a major car care tip is to make sure you apply a coat of wax every six weeks.
Many people either forget or think they are getting wax applications from a car wash. Some car washing products have a small amount of
wax in them, but not enough to provide a thourough coat of wax. Applying a coat of wax does not need to be hard effort with buffing
machines available for less than $20. These machines will take the misery of wax application and buffing the coat up to a great shine.
If you are looking for asomething truly effortless, spring for the wax treatment next time you roll through the car wash.
Manufacturers usually recommend running the air conditioner for 10 to 15 minutes each week during the cold months in order to
maintain the system. However, many drivers simply turn the system off in the winter and then wonder why it is not working several months
later when the warm weather comes around. Check for vapor emissions from the vents when you run the air conditioning as this is a sign
of low coolant and a refresh of the system is usually required and will maximize your comfort while minimizing the cost to you.
Beware of the Heat
Car temperatures can climb to 160 degrees when parked in direct sunlight. This can not only cause your interior and hard surfaces
burn your skin, but practically melt anything left in the car. Be sure that you remember never leave your kids, animals or
electronics in a parked car in the summer heat. You should not leave laptop computers, music players, camera or cell phones
in a parked car; the heat can damage them.
Park in the shade whenever possible and use a windshield cover to reflect the rays of the sun. Keeping the vehicle cool is only
part of the equation though as the cooler your car is, not only will you have more comfort but you will reduce the rate of evaporation
of the gas from the tank which is a direct cost saving to you. If you do not have adequate shade, we recommend purchasing a car cover
with high UV resistance. The Max or the
DuPont Tyvek ® Sunproof Car Coverwould be the best options. Both will block out those
harsh rays effectively and will provide good water protection for those summer thunder storms.
In this light, make sure you ensure the gas cap is on tight and not just turned until you hear the “click” when you fill up.
Gas evaporate quickly in the hot sun and ensuring a tight seal (air tight if possible) will help to prevent evaporation
through the gas cap and will save you some money.
Oil and Filter
Oil should be changed every 3,000-5,000 miles or every 3 months and in accordance with the manufacturer’s warranty and maintenance manual.
Performing a simple oil and filter change will not only noticeably improve your car and engine performance but will also save you around
2% on your gas costs from better gas mileage.
Windsheild, Wiper Blade and Screen Wash
There is nothing worse than driving down a hot, dusty road when a bug goes "splat" in the middle of the windsheild. Then you put on the
wipers and look for a jet of fluid to clean off the offending bug stain – except all you get is a dried set of streaks because
there is no screen wash and the blades have lived out their life thanks to the harsh winter.
Make sure you change the blades and top off the window wash but make sure to follow the directions for summer driving as the
concentrations differ between the seasons. For example in the summer you don't need anti-freeze in the wash, so don't buy
those products during the summer (this will save on corrosion on your paintwork too).
When you are getting ready for that trip to the beach or to your favorite location you should pack a travel kit to put inside your car.
Things to include would be drinking water, sun block, insect repellent and a first aid kit. You should carry an extra gallon of windshield wiper
fluid, a gallon container with 50% coolant and 50% water and a couple of quarts of oil.You want to make sure your car is in tip-top shape for
the long summer days. By having your car running efficiently you will get better gas mileage. You don't want to get stranded somewhere in the
sweltering heat. This is the time of year to pack everyone in the car and go have some fun in the sun. By being prepared and ready for
anything the summer can dish out, you will feel more at ease when you take that trip to the beach, lake or park.