10 Easy Ways To Maintain A Smile On Summer Excursions
There’s no need to add vehicle problems to your list of challenges while driving this summer. See our list of summer service tips to keep your cool.
Climate control systems are one of the first things checked by Tony Molla, a former ASE-certified technician and vice president of industry relations for Automotive Service Association. Molla has encountered the kind of problems caused by summer travel.
“Sometimes your vehicle cabin just won’t get cool,” Molla said. “If you run into inclement weather, you also need your climate control system to clear the window fog.”
The problem could be a radiator that needs to be recharged. But that is only one of several issues that may cause climate control system issues.
Molla listed a myriad of problems that could diminish the effectiveness of your climate control system: leaky hoses, clogged hoses, faulty condenser, old serpentine belt.
The only way to know for sure is through a multipoint inspection. Call your service advisor to check the following items off your list before summer road trips:
- Climate control system. Have your service advisor look for signs that could become problems when you are traveling. That includes leaky hoses, foul odors, whining belts and poor air flow.
- Tire tread wear. Use the “penny test” on all tires to see if it’s time for replacement. If you can see the head on the penny, invest in new tires for safe travel.
- Spare tire. Often forgotten but always needed--the spare tire is one of your safety nets for travel. Make sure it is properly inflated.
- Brake pads. Do you hear any squeals when you press the brake pedal? Chances are it’s time to replace those pads. In any case, a brake inspection can identify problems that may become issues far from home.
- Radiator fluid. Avoid overheating by making sure your overflow tank has enough fluid to keep your engine cool.
- Electrical system. Heat is the enemy of batteries, and hot days can turn your travel fun to exasperation. Check battery charge before heading out of town.
- Hoses and belts. Replace old parts that show any signs of cracks or leaks. It’s an inexpensive way to help prevent expensive problems later.
- Brake lights. Have a friend or relative check the lights while you press the brake pedal. Bright brake lights help prevent accidents and keep you from getting those troublesome fix-it citations.
- Headlights. Are the beams pointed correctly? Are they bright? Both problems can cause anxiety when driving on windy and dark roads.
- Wiper blades. A pair of fresh blades for the windshield and rear window offer an inexpensive way to keep windshield and rear windows free of dust, pollen and bug goo.