Tips On Preparing Your Car For Summer Driving

Tips On Preparing Your Car For Summer Driving

Spring is​ the perfect time to​ get your​ vehicle ready for​ the busy summer driving season​ ahead. It's wise to​ have your​ vehicle checked out before summer's heavy vacation​ traffic and​ stop-and-go conditions begin​ in​ earnest.

The experts at​ the nonprofit National Institute for​ Automotive Service Excellence offer the following tips on​ getting your​ vehicle ready:

* Read the owner's manual and​ follow the recommended service schedules. Pay attention​ to​ "regular" vs. "severe" schedules listed, and​ determine which is​ appropriate for​ your​ driving conditions and​ habits.

* Look for​ an​ orderly repair facility with modern equipment in​ the service bays and​ qualified automotive technicians on​ staff, as​ evidenced by trade school diplomas, certificates of​ advanced course work and​ training, as​ well as​ national certification​ of​ the individual technicians by ASE.

* Flush and​ refill the cooling system (radiator) according to​ the service manual's recommendations. The level, condition​ and​ concentration​ of​ the coolant should be checked periodically. Make sure the engine has cooled down before removing the radiator cap. Engine overheating is​ the most frequent summer breakdown.

* Have engine performance problems corrected, such as​ hard starts, rough idling and​ stalling. You'll get better gasoline mileage, and​ you​ could prevent more expensive repairs.

* Don't neglect your​ transmission​ and​ brakes. Costly repairs can be prevented by routine service. Neglected brakes can create safety issues, too.

* Seek out a​ qualified auto technician to​ check the condition​ of​ belts, clamps and​ hoses, but be proactive by looking for​ signs of​ wear, cracking or​ fraying.

* Have a​ marginally operating air conditioner system serviced by a​ technician qualified to​ handle refrigerants. Older units often contain​ ozone-depleting chemicals that could be released into the air through improper or​ incompetent service.

* Change the oil and​ oil filter as​ specified in​ the owner's manual. this​ simple, inexpensive service can increase the life of​ your​ vehicle.

* Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV) as​ recommended in​ the service manual.

* Check the condition​ of​ tires, including the spare. Let the tires "cool down" before checking their pressure. Uneven wear, "cupping," vibrations or​ "pulling" to​ one side indicates problems with your​ tires or​ suspension​ system.

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