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Make This Summer Smooth – Seven Auto Maintenance Tips to Prep Your Car For Summer

2012-06-05
By: Advocate Brokerage

Previously, we posted about how to prepare a classic car that has been garaged for the winter months. Since not everyone owns a classic or collector car, we want to give a few tips on preparing any vehicle to help keep it running smooth this summer. Advocate Brokerage does not just protect your vehicle with insurance; we want to help you avoid the frustration and cost of a breakdown this summer.

The following suggestions will help make sure that your car is in shape for the stress that hot weather puts on a vehicle.

  1. Tires A common misconception with many drivers is that you need new tires for the rainy or winter seasons, but can get by with less than ideal rubber in the nicer months. In reality, summer heat can be more damaging to your tires than winter weather and obstacles. To assess your tires, inspect them visually looking for signs of dryness or cracking, bubbles and worn out tread. A trick to check the life of your tread on many automotive tires is to place a penny in the main tread grooves of the tire with Lincoln facing you and the top of his head pointed towards the center of the wheel. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head over the tread, it is time to get new tires. If any of these signs are visible, it is time to bring your car to a professional mechanic and have your tires repaired or replaced. Also, before you drive your vehicle anywhere, check your tire pressure. If it is low, inflate your tires to the correct pressure according to your car’s manufacturer specifications.

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  1. Cooling System – One of the most common causes of automobile breakdowns during the summer is overheating. Increased use of power accessories such as air conditioning puts additional strain on your car and requires efficient cooling to keep your engine running. Bring your car to a mechanic and have him inspect your cooling system so you won’t be that person driving at 30 miles an hour with the windows down and heat on full to keep the car from overheating.
  2. Battery – A visual inspection of the battery will give you an idea of its remaining life span. If you see moisture or corrosion on the battery or terminals, it may be time to replace it. Your repair garage or local automotive parts store should be able to test your battery to get more information about its health.
  3. Fluids – Read your owner’s manual for an explanation of all the fluids in your car, how to check them, and what the level of each fluid should be. Correct any issue you find in accordance with the owners manual or bring it to a licensed mechanic to perform the service. And while you are under the hood, be sure to top up your window washer fluid as well.
  4. Windshield Wipers – Winter weather can do damage to your windshield wipers. You should replace your wiper blades at least once a year to make sure you maintain clear visibility, even during heavy precipitation.
  5. Belts and Hoses – Similar to your battery, a visual inspection will give a good indication if your belts require attention. When the engine is cool, squeeze the hoses to determine their strength and closely inspect them for dryness or cracks. If the engine belts or hoses look old, dry or cracked, take your car to your local dealer or certified mechanic to repair or replace any that might fail and cause a breakdown.
  6. Brakes – Summer heat can be very tough on your brake pads. Take your car to your dealer or certified mechanic and have them inspect your braking system to make sure your car will stop with confidence. Also, replacing your brake pads regularly will extend the life of your brake rotors, saving you money.

Be confident in you car this summer; take the time to perform preventative maintenance as well as contacting us, Advocate Brokerage, to protect you and your vehicle with a customized insurance policy that fits you needs and budget.

Post written by DGI

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