Here are some important ways to care for your car and stay safe in the summer months. Caring for your car will keep it in great shape for next summer and many summers to come.
Tires: We often take the tires on our cars for granted, but those thin patches of rubber are all that separate us from the asphalt moving rapidly below our cars. When the weather’s nice, it’s the perfect time to check on your tires.
Your owner’s manual or a placard inside the door jamb of your car will tell you what the proper inflation should be for your tires. It’s not uncommon for the front axle to require a different inflation pressure than the rear axle. Check your inflation levels when the tires are still cold. When the tires warm from road friction, the inflation readings will be higher.
Also, check your tires for uneven wear and tread depth. Your tires have raised bars that span the width of your tire called treadwear indicators. When your tire tread has worn down to the indicators, it’s time to buy some new sneakers for your ride.
Break Pads: About 70% of the braking force for your vehicle is at the front axle, so front brake pads tend to wear first – but how do you know when it’s time to replace your brake pads? Your brake pads will usually tell you by making some unpleasant sounds and by giving some other indications.
Worn brakes can increase the risk of accidents — and the warning signs, while helpful, can create a distraction as your car squeals, squeaks, and vibrates. It’s always best and often less expensive to have your vehicle serviced at the first sign or sound of trouble.
Fluids: Unsurprisingly, the fluids in your car often contain water — water that can evaporate in summer’s sweltering heat. Checking fluid levels often can help ensure that your vehicle is running smoothly and help prevent breakdowns, which can be particularly unpleasant if your car leaves you stranded at the roadside on a hot day. Windshield washer fluid, oil, brake fluid, and coolant levels should all be checked. If you aren’t completely comfortable with checking these fluid levels yourself, many automotive service businesses offer safety checks, which usually include checking fluid levels.
Sun exposure: Cars look great when they’re glistening in the sunshine — but all that sunshine can be damaging to painted surfaces and your car’s interior. Whenever possible, park your vehicle in the shade and use a windshield sunshade to keep damaging ultraviolet rays from aging your car’s paint and interior prematurely.
Don’t hesitate to give your broker a call to review your insurance policy. It’s always a good idea to have a yearly review of your coverages.