Heat under the hood, and more important summer car care tips
Friday, July 6, 2018, 10:04 AM - It’s that time of year again: things are starting to heat up in most parts of the country, and cars can be affected in extreme ways if owners aren’t careful.
While drivers may only notice the temperature inside the car rising, there is also quite a bit of heat under the hood. We’ve compiled the ‘hottest’ car care tips for drivers to consider before hitting the road this summer.
Get your coolant system checked
When was the last time you lifted the hood to check out what’s going on under there? If you were to look during the dog days of summer, you’d find your coolant system working overtime.
Your coolant system works to keep the vehicle’s engine from overheating. Your car can break down if it’s working too hard, which is one of the top reasons for car failure in summer.
Avoid a breakdown this summer by checking your coolant system before the heatwave to make sure it’s leak-free and clean. Ensure caps, clamps and drive belts are checked and that the coolant has been flushed and refilled within the last year.
Tire pressure and changing weather doesn’t mix
Just the slightest change in weather – even one to two degrees – can cause changes in tire inflation pressure. With that in mind, the hot summer heat and cooler nights may cause quite the shift in pressure.
In technical terms, it can shift as much as 1-2 psi. An under-inflated tire could blow out in high heat or even reduce your fuel economy, so keep tabs on both inflation pressure and tire wear to stay safe and avoid too many trips to the gas pump.
Clean engine, smooth driving
Knowing what you’re putting into your engine is important, especially when it comes to extreme weather. Motor oil should be protecting and cleaning your engine in any condition, but during higher temperatures some conventional motor oil can thicken and leave sludge in an engine, affecting its performance.
Synthetic motor oils, such as Mobil 1™ Extended Performance, have been tested and proven to protect engines longer and in more extreme heat than conventional motor oils.
Knowing and keeping up with what motor oil is being put into your engine will help keep your engine clean and your car running smoothly.
Brake pads can crack in the hottest months
When exposed to high summer heat, brake pads and vehicle rotors are more likely to wear and crack. On top of that, stop-and-go traffic can also damage your brake pads.
If you hear any grinding or odd noises coming from your brake pads, you should get them checked immediately. Rotors and pads are not cheap to replace, so it’s wise to check them ahead of the hotter summer months.
Make sure your air conditioning can handle the heat
If you’re waiting until the summer heat to test your air conditioner you could be in for a rude awakening.
Again, be smart in the spring months by getting ahead of the curve and schedule air conditioner work before the heat really sets in.