Summertime and your ride

June 17, 2010

So it’s getting really hot outside, eh, Green Country? Is your car ready to take the heat? Check out Car Country’s tips on getting your vehicle ready for the summer sun.

1) Give your A/C a check-up

Your air conditioner is going to be working overtime during the next several months, and you definitely don’t want it to quit working in the middle of July. It’s a good idea to get it checked out by a mechanic to make sure everything is in proper working order. A reputable mechanic (like Precision Auto Specialist in Broken Arrow) can make sure there’s no refrigerant leaking, and can pressure-test the system to make sure it’s good to go.

2) Check and replace your coolant

If you can’t remember the last time you checked the coolant, it’s time to do it. Keeping the antifreeze fresh is just as important as changing the oil and rotating the tires. If you ignore this, it can cause corrosion inside your engine and radiator, as well as start leaking, which is never good.

3) Give your battery a boost

Batteries usually last several years, as long as they are taken care of. Check your battery regularly for corrosion or leaks, and make sure to keep it clean. (An old toothbrush and some Coca-cola are great tools for this project.) If you see any problems with it, it’s time to get a new battery. Be sure to dispose of the old battery in a proper manner; many stores will give you cash for the old one.

4) Test your tires

This time of year, it’s very important to keep your tires fresh and up-to-date. (Not that having a blowout during the winter months is more pleasant, but you know what I mean.) The rising temperature of the road during the summer causes increased pressure in your tires, so you want to make sure they’re in great shape. Be sure to do the “penny test” by inserting a penny into the treads on your tires. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head poking out the top, then it’s time for new tires.

5) Wave ‘bye’ to wimpy wipers

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve had a very rainy summer so far. Driving without good windshield wipers is dangerous and silly, so see how they’re working. It’s recommended to replace your wipers every six months, even if you think they still work just fine. Windshield wipers take the brunt of the elements, as well as tons of sunlight, which makes the rubber deteriorate quickly. So spend a few bucks and replace them before it’s too late.

6) Check hoses and belts

Give all of your hoses and belts a once-over to check for any noticeable cracks or holes. Keep an eye out for any bulges or anything that looks odd. If you see something, get it replaced immediately.

7) Change all your fluids

We all know that it’s mandatory to get an oil change every 3000 miles, but you probably don’t think about all the other fluids that are busy at work under your hood. Now is the time to change your power-steering, transmission and brake fluids. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, don’t worry. Take it to a reputable mechanic or lube shop, and they can definitely take care of this.

Let’s get all of these simple fixes out of the way, so your car is ready for a summer season full of sun, fun and road trips!

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