Colorado weather can be brutal on your vehicle. Scorching heat can make your cooling system work harder and increase the wear on your belts and hoses. With proper precautions and periodic maintenance, you can lessen the odds of any failure in your car. Here are a few tips to keep your car up and running during hot weather:
Inspect belts, hoses and fluids
Before the weather changes, perform a regular maintenance on your car. Start with the basics- change your engine oil and top off all the other fluids. Look for any sign of damage on the engine belts and hoses (such as cracks, leakage or swelling). Spot the problem areas and replace bad hoses and belts as soon as possible.
Remove winter tires and check air pressure
Summer tires give you more speed, better fuel efficiency and better handling. If you use a dedicated set of winter and summer tires, now is the time to swap winter ones out for the summer tires. Your winter tires will wear out quickly on the hot asphalt.
You should also take this chance to check overall tire pressure which is of critical importance. Tire pressure changes with temperature. Make sure your tires are inflated properly. Not only will it help tires last longer but it will also improve fuel economy. An improperly inflated tire is more prone to excessive wear and blowout.
Check the Air Conditioning system
While even during a Colorado winter there are usually a few opportunities to use your air conditioning, you will still want to make sure you perform a thorough check-up to assess the performance of your A/C system. If it doesn’t seem as cool as it normally does, low level of refrigerant might be the cause. Low refrigerant is the most common cause of a malfunctioning A/C system. If that isn’t the cause, have your mechanic take a look. When it comes to A/C’s loose belts, leaks, seals, bad compressors or a clogged condenser could all be at fault. The system may just needs cleaning if all components are good, which you mechanic can also handle.
Make sure cooling system is cool enough
Summer is the prime time for engine overheating, so check your vehicle’s cooling system before summer time. Look at the quality and quantity of the coolant and make sure its clean. If not, consider flushing the system and refilling it.
Test your Car’s Battery
If your car has a traditional battery, it’s important to check it periodically to ensure fluid level is up and there is no leakage or visible discharge. Check if there is corrosion on the terminals. The corrosion can be cleaned off with hot water or baking soda. Inspect few weeks later to see if the corrosion has made its way back. This could be the sign of more serious issue. Many modern cars have sealed dry batteries which are largely free of maintenance.
Lastly, don’t ignore the check engine light. Especially as seasons change. If you do find yourself stranded with a summer related issue, or any vehicle issue, make sure you call a reputable towing company. Many of these issues fall under roadside assistance (rather than truly needing a tow) but many tow companies default to simply hauling your ride off to the mechanic.
Have a great summer!