During the winter months, vehicles withstand severe weather exposure and adverse driving conditions which can wear down certain components of a vehicle at an increased rate. Before the summer arrives, it is essential to ensure that your car is properly operating because driving in the summer provides its own driving conditions, including heavy rains and higher temperatures. Thankfully, there are a number of simple maintenance tasks that you can perform on your own in order to get your vehicle in proper working order for the summer.
Check the Wipers
Check to see if your windshield wipers are in good condition. Snow, ice, and cold conditions can cause them to degrade or crack fairly quickly, which can reduce their performance in rainy conditions. If they're dirty, you can clean them off using a sponge and a mixture of warm water and soap, but if there are any signs of physical damage, you should get replacement blades. Simply take the old blades into any automotive or hardware store to match them to similarly sized replacements.
Check the Tires
Take a look at your tires. If you've put snow tires on, you should replace them as soon as the roads are clear of snow and ice and the temperature rises above freezing. They do not perform as well in warm conditions, and you'd be better off installing all-season or summer tires on your vehicle. If you don't have snow tires, check the treads of your regular tires for signs of excessive wear or damage, and replace the tires if needed. Finally, because the temperature outside the tire will increase, the air inside the tire will expand. This can lead to increased tire pressure, which can cause increased wear and reduced grip with the road. Check your car's tire pressure at an air pump (found at most gas stations) to ensure that the air pressure of the tires matches the recommended maximum pressure in the owner's manual.
Check the Fluids
You should check the fluid levels of your vehicle as soon as possible. Your engine oil levels are perhaps the most important, as low oil levels can lead to increased engine temperatures and poor performance, but you should also verify that your wiper fluid levels are sufficient to ensure visibility in poor conditions. Check your coolant levels as well, as this is what keeps your engine at an optimal temperature – insufficient coolant levels can cause your engine to overheat and your vehicle to cease to operate, leaving you stranded on the side of the road.
For other ideas on how to prepare your car for summertime cruising, contact a company like ABS Unlimited Auto Repair.