The summer is typically the roughest season on your car. The added heat and strain of the air conditioning system can result in breakdowns and being stranded. Here are some tips for your car this summer that will keep you going, keep you cool and minimize repairs. Basically these tips can keep you out of the breakdown lane.
1) Cooling system flush and fill. This costs around $60-$80 and is important as residue, rust, metal particles, etc… will clog up your system and reduce its effectiveness. If your cooling system is compromised it can lead to engine overheating and very expensive repairs or total engine failure. Sometimes just a top off of the antifreeze or coolant is all that is warranted.
2) Battery test. Take your car to a auto repair shop and have the battery checked. Most will do this for free. They will also clean your battery cables and terminals. Sulfuric acid build up will corrode and worsen the connections which can lead to a dead battery or other electrical problem. A bad battery will not hold the proper charge and, especially in traffic on a hot day can leave you stranded. Believe in Murphy’s law and be prepared for it. If something can or will fail it will probably do it when you least expect it and when it will effect you the most. Be prepared by testing your battery and replacing if necessary.
3) Change the oil and transmission fluid and replace the filters. Have this professionally done as a mechanic can tell you of warning signs these fluids can indicate with a change in oil color, smell, etc… that can warn of impending or future issues. They will top off and check all necessary fluids for your car. They will also check the belts, hoses, tires and more if you ask. Choose a place that is well recommended as there are less than honest mechanics out there. Any AAA repair shop is a good bet as they subscribe to the highest code of ethics in the business. And as a good general rule, have this done every 5,000 – 8,000 kms.
4) Remember to take care of your car’s finish. You want the paint to remain in good condition for as long as possible. Wash the car regularly as bird dropping, acid rain, dirt, etc… can ruin the finish. Apply wax and sealant to protect the paint from the sun, salt and weather conditions. Polymer sealants with PTFE and PTCFE work best as they will bond the slipperiest substances known to man to your paint and this will even keep dust and dirt off your car or truck. Also don’t neglect your headlights, which can become cloudy and won’t operate as well. Cloudy headlights make for extremely unsafe night time driving and will greatly detract from your cars appearance. A headlight repair, cleaner and restoration kit will return cloudy headlights to like new condition and is now readily available. Learn more about this headlight repair and similar cleaning products by visiting the below link.
5) AC system check. According to mechanics the average car is a little low on refrigerant (R-134a for most cars). You can do a recharge yourself as kits can be bought for under $30 at your local auto parts store. I advise against this as it is too easy to blow a hose or not seal it correctly. Get it professionaly done. It won’t cost much more and they can do a check to see if it is leaking and fix it the same day. What good would filling it do if it all leaked back out?
These tips will keep your car running cool all summer long, make it safer, and make it look great. And best of all, it will keep you out of the dreaded break down lane.
Automotive Service Technician