During hot summer months, extreme temperatures can put a significant strain on your vehicle, potentially leading to breakdowns and even accidents. Here are some tips to help you maintain your car in hot weather and ensure a safe driving experience according to a car accident lawyer from MartinWren, P.C.
Check Your Tires: Tire pressure can fluctuate with temperature changes. Under-inflated tires can overheat and lead to a blowout, especially when driving on hot asphalt. Regularly check your tire pressure (don’t forget the spare) and look for signs of wear or damage. Rotate your tires as recommended and replace them if necessary. While tire pressure sensors are great on cars, they can malfunction so it is always good to check the pressure with an old fashioned gauge.
Maintain Your Cooling System: The cooling system works harder during hot weather to prevent the engine from overheating. Ensure your coolant is filled to the proper level. If it’s time for a coolant flush (usually every two to five years, but check your manual), don’t put it off. Regularly inspect the radiator and hoses for leaks and get any issues fixed promptly. You do not want to be on the side of the road with a steaming hot car.
Check Your Battery: Heat can shorten a battery’s lifespan by causing its fluid to evaporate. Check the battery’s charge and look for any signs of corrosion on the terminals. If your battery is old or shows signs of damage, it may be wise to replace it before it fails. Ask your mechanic to always test your battery regularly.
Inspect Your Brakes: Hot weather can affect your brake system. Check the brake fluid level and make sure the brakes are functioning properly. If you notice any issues, such as squeaking, grinding, or a change in brake pedal feel, get your brakes inspected immediately; putting off brake issues should never happen.
Monitor Your Oil Level: Regular oil changes are critical to keep your engine running smoothly. Heat can lead to thermal breakdown in motor oil, reducing its effectiveness. Check your oil level regularly and consider switching to a higher viscosity oil if you live in a particularly hot climate — you can also ask a professional mechanic for their opinion on which type of oil to use.
Test Your Lights: Ensure all your vehicle lights (headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals) are functioning correctly. Good visibility is essential, especially during summer dust storms or sudden rain showers. They can also be used to alert other drivers to your presence like a truck driver.
Keep Your Windshield Clean and Wipers in Good Condition: A dirty windshield can increase glare from the sun and impair your vision. Clean your windshield regularly, and replace your wiper blades if they’re worn out or damaged. It is also a good idea to clean your windshield before you are on the road rather than waiting until you are on the road where issues might arise.
By taking proactive steps to maintain your car in hot summer weather, you can reduce the risk of mechanical failures and accidents. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt about your vehicle’s condition, it’s best to consult with a professional mechanic. Safe driving should always be your top priority. If you do happen to get into an accident, contact a lawyer near you for help.