Summer is here, and that means beach trips, air conditioning, and hot, hot engines! The last thing you want is to have a breakdown and be stuck on the side of the road in the heat. That’s why you need to act now to prevent those costly breakdowns by catching problems before they mushroom into vacation-wrecking disasters.
We’ve provided this handy checklist of things that need to be checked on your car to get it ready for summer.
Your car’s A/C needs to be checked every year in late spring or early summer. An A/C tuneup makes sure all the components are working properly so your car will stay cooler without having to run excessively. Not only will this increase your comfort, but it will save you money by lowering your fuel bill and avoiding an A/C breakdown.
Your radiator and cooling system also need to be checked. Of course, the coolant fluid needs to be topped off, but that’s just the final step. Most vehicles need a coolant system flush and refill every 24 months, more often if you live in a hot climate. Hoses and belts need to be inspected and make sure to tell your mechanic if you notice any color liquids on the ground or sweet smells coming from your car after it’s been running. These can be signs of a coolant leak, which needs to be addressed immediately.
Regular oil changes should be done every 3000 miles, or as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Neglecting this is a very common cause of expensive engine repairs, engine replacement, or even having to buy a new car! If your vehicle is towing or hauling heavyweights, or you do mostly stop and go driving, ask your mechanic if more frequent oil changes are needed to keep your car running well.
Tires should be rotated and balanced every 5000-6000 miles, or roughly with every other oil change. This will extend the life of the tires and give you a smoother, more comfortable ride. Of course, the air pressure in your tires needs to be checked every week or two, especially if you’re doing lots of driving. Don’t depend on ‘they look okay’. A tire air gauge is inexpensive, easy to use, and by keeping your tires properly inflated will also extend the life of your tires and increase the comfort of the ride.
Finally, have your brakes checked regularly. Most service technicians will check your brakes as part of their routine maintenance checklist and can recommend when they need to be serviced or replaced. Brake fluid also should be checked routinely, and most people either have this done at the same time as their oil changes or when the oil and coolant levels are checked. Make sure you tell your mechanic if your brakes squeal or grind, or if they’re not working properly. Brake failure at any time is bad. Brake failure at the wrong time can be a catastrophe!
Whether you’re a shade-tree mechanic or prefer to drive to a technician and sit sipping coffee while your vehicle is serviced, make sure your vehicle has its summer checklist today!
Then, will you’re waiting for the tech to finish your routine service, contact us to see just how CarDog’s intuitive, mobile-optimized CRM (and almost everything else for your small to medium-sized auto dealership) can help get you and your sales force ready to sell more cars!