Get Your Car Ready for Summer
Canada is a country with a climate of extreme highs, and extreme lows. Much of western Canada just went through a heatwave where temperatures were reaching up to 40 degrees celsius...crazy! Because of this, we not only have to prepare our bodies to endure the extreme heat, but also our cars. We prepare our cars for the freezing cold winters, so why isn’t it as common to prepare our cars for the scorching hot summers? In this article, we’re going to give you 10 tips on how to prepare your car for a hot summer.
1. Check Your Air Conditioner
Most Canadians only use their air conditioner for 4 months of the year with the other 8 months it being powered off. Because of it being out of service for more than half a year, it may be susceptible to a few issues. So it’s time for you to test it out and blow some cold air into the cabin. If you notice any issues, you may want to consider getting your refrigerant topped up.
2. Check The Brakes
Winter driving in Canada can take put a ton of wear on your brakes so it’s important that coming into the spring/summer season you get them checked. Pretty much any mechanic shop offers brake checks and they will replace them if they need replacing. Not only will this improve the safety of you and your passengers, it will also improve the vehicle’s performance.
3. Check Your Tires
Checking your tires means checking a few things to make sure everything is up to spec. The first thing you need to do with your tires is swap out your winter tires for summer tires. Summer tires perform much better on hot asphalt than winter tires and will wear out much slower.
The second thing you need to check is whether you need to rotate your tires. All this means is switching your front two tires with your back two tires. While this may seem pointless, it can actually improve both your car’s gas mileage and overall driving performance.
The last and arguably most important thing you need to monitor is your tire pressure. Tires that aren’t properly inflated can cause pressure on the sidewalls while tires that are over inflated lose performance and risk rupturing. It’s important to first do a visual inspection of the tires to ensure there are no cracks or bumps and then use a gauge to make sure the tire pressure is set accordingly.
4. Check Your Filters
As Canadians we know how extreme our weather can be in all seasons. So in the summer when its 30 degrees celsius, you’re probably going to be rolling up the windows and pump air conditioning into your cabin. Because of this, you’re going to want to make sure that the air is clean and dust-free. Take a look at your air filters to ensure there’s no discoloration or dampness and if there is, replace the filters.
5. Top Up Your Vehicle’s Fluids
We all know you should be changing the oil on your car every 5,000 or so kilometres, but what about the less thought about fluids? Coolant, brake and transmission fluids are commonly overlooked, creating easily avoidable problems. However, during the hot summer months you should be particularly focused on ensuring your coolant levels are good to prevent overheating.
6. Check Your Battery
A dead battery is a huge pain, regardless of the season. The summer months are when car batteries take a toll due to all the air conditioning and cooling fans. Inspect your battery to ensure there’s no excess wear and tear. Typically, car batteries should be changed every four years so if you’re coming up on four years you should consider replacing it.
7. Replace Your Wiper Blades
Winter is when your car wiper blades get worn out the quickest. The constant wiping of snow, ice, sand and salt will leave your wipers in bad shape. If you’re wipers are worn out you’ll notice streaks that you don’t want during the summer rain. Luckily, replacing your wipers is inexpensive and can make a giant difference in your visibility when driving in heavy rain.
8. Be Vigilant With Your Paint
Car paint does not do well in extreme heat conditions. If your car is in the hot sun for a long period of time you may notice fading, drying and even cracking. So in order to avoid this its best to park your car in a garage or in the shade when you don’t have access to a garage. You can also get UV protection wax to minimize any damage the sun can do to your car’s paint job.
9. Make an Emergency Kit
While you never want to have an emergency, if you do end up having one, there’s nothing worse than being unprepared. It doesn’t take much money or time to get yourself a kit to be prepared for an emergency. Some of the things you should add to your kit are blankets, a flashlight, a whistle, a spare tire and a couple bottles of water in case of a breakdown in a remote area. If that doesn’t put you at ease, consider subscribing to a roadside assistance service to ensure you’re always covered in case of a breakdown.