Sunday, April 15, 2012

Preventative Maintenance - Get Your Car Ready for Summer

The start of summer is an exciting time, where you plan family vacations, and all sorts of great activities. Having to shell out a whole bunch of money at one time to get your car ready for summer can put a damper on this. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your pocketbook is practice preventative maintenance. The following are some preventative maintenance tips to help get your car ready for summer:

1. Keep the battery clean: changes in temperature can put a stress on many parts of your car, including your battery. If you want your car to be ready for summer, then make sure your battery is clean. Regularly clean the posts, and make sure the batter itself is clean, and not cracked or bulging anywhere.

2. Check tire pressure regularly: The change of temperature can cause your tires to be improperly inflated. If you want to keep your car in good condition, and have it ready for summer, without having to replace all of your tires due to uneven wear, make sure you check your tire pressure regularly. Buy a tire pressure gauge. They are not too expensive, and will help you see quickly if your tires are inflated to the owner's manual specifications for best use.

3. Change oil with the seasons: One thing many people do not realize is that they need different oil for the different seasons. Oil is used to lubricate the engine, and needs to be a certain viscosity or thickness, to be effective. As the engine gets hot, the oil thins out some. In the summer months, the engine is hotter than it is during the cooler months, so you need a thicker oil to keep the thickness where it should be to properly protect your engine. So, when summer hits, take your car in for an oil change, or change it yourself, but use a thicker oil.

4. Keep fluids full. Heat can do bad things to cars, so making sure your radiator is full, and your other fluid tanks are all topped off and with clean fluids, can be very beneficial to your car. Not only should you change your fluids regularly, but every couple of years, you should do things like a transmission flush, where you don't just top off the fluid, but get rid of all the fluid in it, clean it, and put new fluids in. This is preventative maintenance.

5. Regularly check belts and hoses. Changes in temperature can cause belts and hoses to bulge, crack, and have other problems. So, part of preventative maintenance to keep your car summer ready, is checking these often so that you can catch any problems, and correct them before they escalate.

The best way to have a summer ready car is through practicing preventative maintenance.

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