Nine Checks to Prepare Your Car for Summer Heat

Summer is finally here and so are the hot temperatures. It is important to make sure your car is ready to handle the extra heat.

Prepare Your Car for Summer Heat

Here are nine important things to check in preparing your car to safely handle the summer heat:

  1. Air Conditioning System – Check your air conditioning system to assure it is properly maintained to adequately cool your car’s interior. This will protect you and your passengers from dangerous heat while you are traveling.
  2. Battery – Like extreme cold, extreme heat can also put your battery at risk. Battery fluid evaporates faster when it is exposed to high temperatures, which can lead to corrosion on terminals and connections. Be sure to keep these clean, and have your battery tested if it is older than three years.
  3. Radiator – Have your radiator inspected to be sure it is in good condition, and that the radiator core has not been damaged by salt corrosion. Another issue to watch for is a plugged radiator core. This problem can happen when coolant flushes are not performed.
  4. Coolant – Antifreeze and coolant are critical to your car’s heating and cooling system. Having the coolant flushes performed per your owner’s manual recommendation is extremely important in assuring your engine runs clean and cool.
  5. Cooling Fans – A cooling fan failure can lead to engine overheating problems. In some cases, trouble with the air conditioning system can be a sign that you have a cooling fan problem. Cooling fans should be regularly inspected to avoid engine problems.
  6. Thermostat – There is no set mileage that predicts when it will fail, but when it does, it’s important to replace it as soon as possible. A bad thermostat is a common cause of engine overheating. A failing thermostat can also  be indicated by the check engine light illuminating or the car heater not working.
  7. Water Pump – A compromised water pump will often cause a coolant leak, so if you notice the coolant level dropping at a faster rate, you should have it checked as soon as possible. An experienced auto technician will be able to spot a water pump that is about to fail.
  8. Belts and Hoses – The belts and hoses in your cooling system should be inspected to make sure they are tight and in good condition.  Cracks or deterioration of the rubber are signs of trouble.
  9. Tire Pressure – Check the pressure of your tires to make sure they are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires can overheat, which increases the chance of a blowout during summer months.