Summer is just a week away which means many Utah drivers are readying their bikes and preparing their camping equipment for weekend getaways outside of their city limits. It is no surprise that summer is the season where roads are most driven. Lakes, mountains, and trails all over are calling our names as the warm sun shines more consistently. However, before you head out on a trip that requires you to rack up mileage on your vehicle, it’s important to prepare your car for such a journey. Summer is also the season where drivers experience significant car troubles— troubles that often accompany a lack of preparation. Here are some tips to help you avoid such issues.
Check Tire Pressure
Just as cold weather can cause your tire pressure to drop, heat can actually cause it to increase. For every 10 degrees of increased temperature, your tires can be expected to increase by 1-2 pounds of pressure. Overinflation is dangerous. Tires that carry too much pressure are at greater risk for a blowout. A tire blowout can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and negatively affect braking distance, endangering yourself and others on the road. It is always advisable to check your tire pressure when summer rolls around and make the necessary adjustments.
Inspect your fluids
When it comes to fluids, coolant should be on the top of your summer maintenance checklist. Car coolant, also known as antifreeze, protects engines from overheating. Coolant also lubricates the moving parts it comes into contact with, which protects damage to the water pump, head gasket, the cylinder, and piston timing. In addition, engine oil levels and brake fluid should be checked before any long road trip.
A Dead Battery Can Ruin Any Trip
If you have been driving awhile on your battery, consider performing a load test at home before a summer trip. Although heat facilitates the chemical reactions within the batteries, it also degrades the system. In hot climates, batteries last around three years on average. Drivers can usually get another year or two of battery life in cooler climates. If you don’t want your battery unexpectedly giving out on your summer trip, make sure you either check it yourself or bring it to a Utah mechanic for an inspection.
Test the A/C
Although A/C is more comfort than necessity, a summer road trip with no cool air can be miserable. Before you head out on the road, run the air conditioner for 10-15 minutes and make sure you are getting consistent, cool air. If the air is coming out warm, you may need new refrigerant, or there may be an issue with a component of the A/C system. It is much better to address such a problem before taking to the road.
Consider a Tune-Up
A tune-up is always a good idea before summer is in full swing. It is essentially a full automotive checkup, making sure everything is in proper working order. At Master Muffler, our comprehensive tune-ups include the following:
- Spark plug replacement
- Fuel filter replacement
- Distributor Cap replacement (if needed)
- Spark plug wire check (replace if needed)
- Belts check (replace if needed)
- Battery check
- Oxygen sensors check (replace if needed)
- Air filter check (if needed)
- PCV valve replacement (if needed)
- Distributor rotor replacement(older model vehicles)
- Coil or Coil packs check (replace if needed)
- Fluid check
If You Need Help, We Have You Covered
For those who aren’t particularly keen on checking under the hood, changing fluids, and making minor repairs, the Master Muffler team would be glad to help. We are auto repair experts, with years of experience helping residents in Utah and Idaho with their car care needs. Our mechanics are trusted professionals who seek to deliver the best service possible at a fair price, sending drivers off in safer, more reliable vehicles. If you’re planning a trip this summer, make sure to give us a call or stop in for a visit before you head off.