Helpful Car Repair Tips

Summertime Car and Truck Maintenance

Posted by Brian Brown on July 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Summertime heat can be real tough on cars and trucks as high temperatures can destroy batteries, harm tires and stress cooling systems. Periodically these components should be checked during the summer to help avoid breakdowns.

Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. This excessive heat can shorten the life of a battery. To get the most life out of a battery have the electrical system checked to make sure it is charging at the correct rate. Most batteries are now maintenance free but if not, check it often, especially in hot weather and add distilled water when needed. Keep the top of the battery clean as dirt can become a conductor which drains battery power. If corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, have them cleaned as it becomes an insulator and affect the current flow.

Your tires during the summer weather have added stress on them. For safety and tire life, have your tires inspected. Check for proper air pressure and rotate about every 6,000 miles. Remember the heat will cause the pressure within a tire to rise. So it's important to check the pressure when tires are cold, like in the morning before driving any distance. Your owner's manual includes the recommended air pressure for your vehicle's tires. However some used cars may have different tires, so you can also find the tire pressure listed on the side of the tire. Do not inflate your tires to the pressure listed on the tire itself. That number is the maximum pressure the tire can hold, not the recommended pressure for the vehicle. As a rule of thumb, you want to inflate to about 80% of the tire pressure listed on the tire. Remember, your air pressure will vary about 3 to 6psi depending on the heat. Less when tire is cold and more when hot. Having the correct tire pressure is extremely important for getting good gas mileage, proper handling and getting the most life out of your tires.

As I’m sure your well aware, your cooling system works extremely hard during the summer heat. To prevent overheating of the engine, keep the cooling system radiator working effectively by making sure its full with a 50/50 mixture of coolant and distilled water. I'm sure everyone is well aware never try to open a hot radiator, not only will you run the risk of serious burns but it makes it very difficult to fill. As a rule of thumb, the coolant should be changed annually on most vehicles to keep the cooling system fresh and clean inside. Make sure the radiator is not just emptied and replaced with fluid but have it flushed. This not only helps your car to run cooler but it also prevents corrosion. A pressure test, thermostat test, a cooling fan test and a visual inspection for leaks and corrosion should also be done annually. Hoses and drive belts should be checked for cracks, bulges or frayed edges. The radiator itself should be kept clean by periodically using a garden hose and a soft brush to carefully remove bugs, dirt and debris however be very careful not to damage any of the cooling fins.

These few items take very little time and effort to keep your car running efficiently and safely during the hot summer months. I hope these tips were helpful and have a safe and happy summer! If you ever have any questions or concerns please feel free to call Bob Fonda at Bob's Garage in Sugar Grove, VA - (276) 677-4066.

Categories: Car Repair, Automotive Repair

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10 Comments

Reply Car Brakes Repair Calgary
1:32 AM on February 28, 2013 
Summer will ask more care for your car and other vehicles. Your vehicle has to deal with inside as well as outside heat. Change oil and water regular to keep your vehicle cool and run regular.
Reply Chris Beaver
2:34 PM on May 20, 2013 
Thanks for the helpful tips! Last summer I was on a road trip in my 1998 Toyota Camry when the car suddenly overheated. Seeing that I have pretty much zero knowledge about cars, I decided to take it over to the nearest Chevy Service Center. They saw that I was just low on coolant and were able to fill it up for me. Without their help that road trip would have ended a tad bit early!
Reply Mike Loshe
12:47 PM on June 11, 2013 
Great post! It is definitely a good idea to service your car before the start of summer to avoid any problems. I always go to Weslaco Texas auto care for any service or parts for my ride. Not only are they always helpful but they always have the right price.
Reply Car Mechanic Melbourne
5:23 AM on February 14, 2014 
Thanks for the helpful tips! We should repair or service our car by professional mechanics because they know exactly what is perfect and good for car. The qualified mechanics have full knowledge of car servicing and repairing because now a days there are various type of advance technology. So, its better to service or repair the car by expert car mechanic.
Reply praveen
1:57 AM on March 8, 2014 
Very nice post.It is definitely a good idea to service your car before the start of summer to avoid any problems. I always go to Weslaco Texas auto care for any service or parts for my ride. Not only are they always helpful but they always have the right price.
Reply darren
5:24 AM on April 22, 2014 
Changing the oil is great make sure to do it every 3 months or 3000 miles because this tip is very useful for you if engine is good then its all parts are feel comfortable while you drive a car GMC VIN Decoder must also watch this site...
Reply sean will
6:07 AM on May 8, 2014 
This was a very pleasant post to read and very informative. I availed car repairs services in Watford.
Reply aliajackson
9:53 AM on May 19, 2014 
Hello
It is been really tough in summer If your car breakdown sudden in middle of somewhere, We need to check or maintain it through all days, I am also looking for best car recovery london and breakdown recovery service.

Thanks
Reply Brownshore Motors Ltd
3:05 AM on June 13, 2015 
The engine is your car's heart. It's designed to beat steadily under normal circumstances and races faster as you accelerate and drive at higher speeds. But, the summer requires more from your car.
Reply Cyzarine William
2:23 AM on December 24, 2016 
Thanks to the author for sharing some views about the cars overheating in summer season. Mostly the car batteries get dry in summers so the engine gets overheated. There are many reasons of overheating that may be due to the water and coolant level in the radiator is low. If there is a leak in hoses, the radiator, water pump, thermostat housing, heat core, head gasket, freeze plugs, automatic transmission oil cooler, cylinder head and block. If my car overheating then I suddenly turn the engine off and let the engine cool before we do anything. I use to refill anti freeze /coolant and check if the hoses have any leaks, blockages or bursts.