During the hot summer months, your car spends most of the day parked out in direct sunlight, roasting on hot pavement. In the same way you need protection from the heat and UV rays, your vehicle also needs to be cared for. Here’s a list of areas you should check to make sure your car keeps its cool this summer:

Check the coolant

The hot temperatures force your vehicle to work hard and coolant helps prevent overheating. Your owner’s manual will detail how frequently you should flush your coolant system and replace the fluids.

Top up fluids

Pop-up the hood and review the fluid levels of your motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and your brake fluid. Refill as needed.

Look at the battery

The heat can cause battery fluid to evaporate at a higher rate and this can lead to corrosion on the terminals and connections. If you see this build-up, clean it away from the battery terminals and cable clamps to allow the clamps a tight fit.

Blast the A/C

Crank up the air conditioning in your car to ensure that it reaches the maximum temperature and each vent has proper air flow. If it’s not maintaining the right temperature, your refrigerant levels could be low. Having proper air conditioning doesn’t just provide you with an escape from the heat – cool air can also reduce driver fatigue, thereby increasing driving safety.

Inspect your belts

Take a look at your hoses and drive belts to see how worn they are. You’ll want to keep an eye out for cracking, soft spots or any other signs of wear and tear as worn parts are more likely to fail in hot driving conditions.

Properly inflate your tires

Temperature changes can affect the air levels in your tires. If you combine an overinflated or underinflated tire with hot pavement and brake friction, you could be steering towards a tire blowout. Review your owner’s manual to find the proper inflation level and check your tires once a month (even your spare) to make sure they are within these guidelines. Don’t forget to review the treads for any cracks, bulges or signs of uneven wear.

Test your wipers

Your windshield wipers face the toughest of road conditions – they chip through ice and snow in the winter and they sit on a blistering windshield in the summer. The harsh elements can cause them to crack, lose flexibility and become misshaped. Determine whether it’s time to replace them – you’ll want a great working set when you’re stuck in a summer thunderstorm.

Update your emergency kit

Have a look through your vehicle’s emergency kit. Are there any items that have expired or do you need to replace any items you’ve used? You might consider adding some new items suitable for summer like emergency sunscreen or a rain poncho.

Give it a good clean

Tree sap, bird droppings, bugs, acid rain and road dust can accumulate on your car over the summer months and potentially damage the paint. Wash your car frequently and wax or polish periodically to provide a little extra protection.

By doing a little routine maintenance ahead of time, you can help ensure that your car will be in great shape for summer day trips, vacations and more.

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