As different cities and states enter reopening phases, motorists are getting back on the road. If you’ve been working from or sheltering at home, your car may have sat idle for months. If you’re an essential worker, you may have been driving even more than usual. In either case, proper auto maintenance for the summer is essential.
Consider these helpful car maintenance tips as we head into this warmer season.
Get your battery checked
Make sure that your battery securely mounted and free of corrosive buildup at the terminals. Ask your mechanic to test the battery’s strength. It’s better to replace a weak battery now than be stranded if it dies. You can save money by replacing the battery yourself. It’s one of the easiest maintenance tasks.
Check your tire pressure
According to AAA, driving on under-inflated tires can cause them to overheat, increasing the likelihood of a blowout. High summertime road temperatures can add to this possibility. Many newer cars have a tire pressure monitoring system. Don’t ignore low pressure warnings.
Inspect your fluid levels
Incorrect fluid levels in your vehicle can cause severe damage. These include engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and engine coolant. While not essential, windshield washer fluid can help in dusty conditions.
Inspect your lights
Check all your vehicle’s lights and bulbs. If a bulb is burned out, always replace it and its “partner” together as bulbs dim over time. Check lighting covers for cracks and fogging. Hazy or yellowed headlight covers can be restored to new condition at a fraction of the cost of new lights. Remember to clean out any bugs or debris that may have built up in the lenses.
Wash and vacuum out your car
Remove any accumulated clutter. Use a streak-free glass cleaner to clean both sides of all the windows. Don’t forget to clean out your trunk as well.
Schedule an oil change and tire rotation
Regular oil changes are the most important maintenance tasks to keep your car running well. Tire rotations will make them last longer, which means you’ll spend less on tires over the life of your vehicle. Most cars need an oil change every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, or every three months if you drive less often.
You can complete most of these car maintenance items in a single appointment. Check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.