AutFive Things Your Car Wants before Summer Hitso Draft

Review five things your car wants before the heat of summer takes you both by surprise. Putting off what you could do today and waiting till the middle of July might ruin a nice summer road trip.

Replace Those Winter Wiper Blades

Many motorists don’t realize what a beating a fragile rubber wiper blade can take during the winter ice and snow season. This is especially true for drivers that try to clear the windshield before breaking out the ice scraper. The delicate edge of the wiper blade that contacts the glass is easily damaged. A couple of swipes over a rough, icy surface can leave little nicks and cracks on the most important part of the rubber insert.

When the spring rainstorms hit, you can see the damage firsthand as the wipers leave large swaths of the unclear windshield behind. And when it comes to purchasing replacement parts I recommend finding a set of blades that utilize a powder coated metal frame and a high-quality rubber insert. When you install the new parts avoid turning them on and dragging them across a dry windshield. This is a good reason to verify the windshield washers are working properly before you replace the blades.

Cabin Filter Fever

After being trapped inside the house for a large part of the winter, motorist jump in their car and go. As the sun starts to bake the passenger cabin, the driver reaches over and turns on the air-conditioning or the vent blower motor. Then they notice the discharged air volume is a lot less than they remember at the selected speed. One common cause of this situation is a clogged cabin filter.

Although not all cars have them, the ones that do are often neglected. The General Motors owner’s manual recommends replacing the pollen filter at least once a year as general maintenance. If the vehicle operates in a dusty environment, it should be replaced more often. As an auto mechanic I’ve seen vehicles with the original filters installed for far too long. Learn how to get a definitive answer on whether your car is equipped with a pollen filter on my guide to automotive cabin filter replacement.

Quick Cooling System Check

When spring and summer hit, people often think about where they’re going to travel without thinking much about the automobile that gets them there. Checking the cooling system can be as simple as a quick glance at the coolant recovery tank. This antifreeze reservoir can provide a lot of quality information about the condition of the engine cooling system.

If it’s filled to its proper level and looks clean, these are two signs there are no internal or external leaks in the system. If it’s low or the fluid looks like a chocolate milkshake, this is a sign that further diagnosis is needed.

Time for a Summer Tire Check

Air pressure inside the tire increases as the temperature increases. Imagine being a tire driving down a Texas blacktop road in the middle of August. Although the internal pressure will most likely remain under the maximum inflation rating it can be stressful on old tires. Another thing to consider is the depth of the tread is important for preventing hydroplaning when driving on wet roadways.

Take a few minutes and examine the condition of each tire. Look for dry rot or small cracks on the side wall of the tire. As far as the depth, I recommend you put that penny back in your pocket and take a look at how professionals check the tire tread.

Emergency Water in the Trunk

It’s always nice to have a gallon or two of water in the trunk. This can serve a dual purpose for both automobile and human. Obviously on the car it can refill the radiator in an emergency or used in a pinch to fill the windshield washer reservoir when you realize it’s empty in the middle of a summer road trip.

Even if your trip doesn’t include a trek through the desert you could be very happy you have a gallon of water in the trunk should you break down during the hot summer months. When the heat index is over 100 degrees, dehydration can become your biggest problem in an automotive emergency.