Before you pack the towels, sunscreen, and beach chairs into the car for a trip to one of the best beaches in Massachusetts that we wrote about last month, it’s time to make sure that your car gets there in one piece – and that the AC is cranking at full power.
Read on for Colonial’s summer car care tips for Massachusetts drivers and make sure that your car is your cool, calm, and confident refuge from the dog days.
For a quick refresher on a lot of what summer car care involves, take a look at our spring car care tips. A lot of those points are just as important for the summertime – especially tires. If you have summer tires or all-season tires, now’s obviously the time to break those out. And if you’re still driving around with heavy winter tires, stop reading this right now and swap them out for another set. You’re not only wearing away your winter tires for no reason, but you’re also killing your gas mileage.
So what else is there to look at on your car for the summer? Let’s get into the big summer tips that you will want to focus on:
- Hoses - The hoses on your car are essential to preventing the engine from overheating. They deliver coolant to the engine, so when they crack, the engine radiator’s temperature will skyrocket, and you’ll be stuck on the side of 495 or Route 3. Look for leaks or cracks in your hoses. They wear away slowly from the inside, so if they’re starting to look a little soft, then it’s probably time to get it replaced.
- Belts – Similar to hoses, the belts on your car play a vital role in keeping the engine cool. If the belt that runs the fan in your engine snaps, then the cool air it provides stops with it. Not long after that, your engine will overheat, and, once again, you’ll be stranded. If it’s been more than 36,000 miles since you had your belts replaced, it may be time. Check for cracks if you’re unsure.
- Coolant – Your vehicle’s engine relies on a coolant system that’s primarily composed of antifreeze and water distributed through a series of pumps and hoses. If you’re sitting in summer traffic, it’s tough to keep the cool air coming in, so that coolant really gets put to the test. If you haven’t had your coolant flushed and filled in two years or more, now’s the time.
- Wipers – It may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure your wipers are up to the challenge of those late summer thunderstorms. There’s nothing worse than getting trapped on the highway in a deluge with nothing but floppy wiper blades that are about to fall off.
- Brakes – You can never be too careful when it comes to your brakes, so these are included in all of our seasonal car care posts. If pressing your brake pedal is getting too soft, too hard, or too noisy, then it’s time to get them assessed – and likely replaced. Do it now before your pads are completely gone and you damage the brakes permanently.
And, maybe most importantly, don’t forget to keep tabs on your AC. If you air conditioning conks out, then you’re in for a particularly painful summer. According to HowStuffWorks, the most common cause of AC failure in vehicles is a low refrigerant level, usually due to a leak somewhere. AC units are complicated, so be careful about poking around yourself. It’s best to let a professional get to the bottom of it.
As always, if you need help with any car problems, simply visit your nearest Colonial dealership, and we can help keep your vehicle running smoothly.