Tips to Get Your Car Ready for Summer
Summer’s hot temperatures and dusty conditions can be hard on cars with frequent day trips to the beach, drives to the local mountains, and especially during road trips. And you certainly don’t want to get stranded on the road. The key to getting your vehicle ready for summer driving is preventing mechanical breakdowns in advance. So, before you head out on your road trip adventure, check out our list of handy tips we put together to get your car ready for summer.
1. Test the A/C
When those summertime temperatures start climbing, drivers find relief by cranking up the air conditioning. So, make sure your A/C blows out cold air. And check for strange noises or odors. Keep in mind that a system that is operating only marginally is likely to fail in hot weather. Have it inspected by a pro to give you peace-of-mind.
2. Check your coolant level
One of the most frequent causes of summertime breakdowns is overheating. To prevent this from occurring, the cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled every 24 months. And the levels, condition and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. Generally, a 50-50 mix that is specified for your vehicle’s make and model is recommended.
3. Check your oil level
Regardless of the season, oil and oil filters should be changed in accordance with specifications in the owner's manual. However, every 3,500 miles (conventional oil) or 5,000 miles (synthetic oil) is a good rule of thumb. Especially for those who make frequent short trips, extended trips with cargo, or tow a trailer.
4. Check your tires
Tire pressure is a frequent cause of flats and blowouts and therefore should be checked at least once a month. Always make sure the tires are cooled down before checking and rotate them about every 5,000 miles to ensure even wear. And when inspecting tires, don't forget to check the spare for tread life, uneven wearing and cupping. Be sure the jack is in good working condition and that all the parts are there.
5. Have a mechanic inspect your brakes
For the safety of everyone on the road, brakes should be checked by a mechanic as recommended in the owner's manual, but sooner if pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer than usual stopping distances are noticed. Even the slightest brake problem should be corrected immediately.
6. Inspect your battery
A car or truck battery can fail at any time and the only way to accurately detect a weak one is with a battery tester, which our service departments can test for you. Check to see if there is corrosion around the posts. If so, scrape away corrosion from the posts and cable connections. Make sure to clean all surfaces, re-tighten connections and, if the battery caps are removable, check fluid levels monthly. If the corrosion is back after a few weeks, this could be a more serious issue, and you may want to replace the battery.
The strength and condition of drive belts, clamps and hoses should also be checked. They should be replaced if found to be loose or cracked.
7. Clean the windshield and check wiper blades
Dirty windshields can cause eye fatigue and reduce visibility, creating a safety hazard. Replace those worn wiper blades and check to make sure there is plenty of wiper fluid in the reservoir to clean the windshield when necessary.
Chips and cracks on our windshield can also be distracting while driving and prevents you from driving safely. Make sure to repair or replace your windshield if there are large cracks or chips.
8. Inspect all lights
To improve night vision, as well as visibility, inspect all headlights, taillights and bulbs. Replace burned out bulbs, and periodically clean out dirt and insects from the lenses.
Getting your car ready for that much-anticipated summertime road trip means a safer adventure for you, your family and friends! If you need some summer repairs, take your car to one of our 7 service departments in San Diego County, or schedule a service appointment. Our Nissan certified and trained technicians have the experience and the latest factory authorized diagnostic equipment to properly care and maintain your car.