Cars are a big investment in our lives. Problems with your car is both a stressful and financial headache. While certain things are unavoidable, you do have some control over helping your car run smoothly. Here are some good tips to do with your car for the summer season.
- Make sure your oil is current
Oil changes are a simple and inexpensive way to make sure you’re car is running well. Depending on your car and its age, the mile range for oil changes is 3,000 to over 7,000 miles. For most cars, they recommend oil changes at 5,000 miles. For $20-$30, places will change your filter and replace the oil, and do various other basic checks on fluid levels or tires for free. Some places will even include a rotation free of charge. Check your manual and pay attention to your mileage, and make frequent checks for your oil dipstick and make sure the oil looks clean and is filled properly. Also, carry around a quart of oil in your trunk as well.
- Tire pressure
A tire gauge is a cheap investment, only a couple of dollars. Check your tire pressure frequently, and make sure it falls within the recommended PSI. You especially want to do this before you go on a long trip, which is pretty common in the summer. Proper tire pressure can help your gas mileage. The summer heat will often increase pressure on your tires, making it more important to check. Most gas stations have air pumps that cost only a couple of quarters, sometimes even free.
- Clean your car
If you’re traveling a lot, it might make sense to leave things in your car. But this isn’t the best idea. Take the time to empty your trunk and back seat. Increase weight in your car means increased tire pressure and decreased gas mileage. Not to mention, it makes your car ride lower, leaving your more prone to damage from speed bumps or pot holes.
- Get new windshield wiper blades
Check the status of your windshield wiper blades. The summer season brings a lot more rain and thunderstorms, so you want to make sure the blades are in good condition for the sake of your vision and your windshield. Blades are easily replaceable, and come at a minimal cost. Like checking your tires, it’s one of the few things any one can do regardless of your car knowledge. Take advantage of things like that. You’re manual should be able to tell you what’s going on.
- Emergency kits
This is a good idea to have year round, but especially if you’re planning long trips or frequent trips, like to the beach. Kits are fairly cheap, and often include things to help you fix a flat tire, screwdrivers, jumper cables, compressors, fix-a-flats, first aid kits, and even tire jacks. These can be found at places like amazon.com or any major store like Wal-mart for $50 or less. It’s always good to prepare yourself for a bad situation.
Take good care of your car, and you will avoid a lot of needless problems over the summer. Drive safely and enjoy the warm weather.