Getting Your Car Ready for Summer
Summer time can be a hard time on your vehicle. One thing that will help keep it operating at peak performance, and reduce the likelihood of a breakdown is to do a basic check under the hood of your car or truck.
A quick check of the coolant overflow bottle is a great place to start. If the level is between the low and full marks and the color is clean and bright you are probably good to go. There are a number of different colored antifreeze/coolants in the market today—gone are the days of all coolant being green. If the level is at or below the lower limit or the color isn’t bright, it may be time to service your cooling system. If in doubt have the coolant and protection levels (the boiling point, freezing point) checked by your garage.
Next, take a look at the hoses. Look for signs of leaks and stains from the coolant. The hoses should feel firm but not hard. A soft, spongey hose is a hose getting ready to fail. When it fails, it most likely won’t be at a convenient time or place. Get it replaced before it does! Check the radiator tanks for leaks or stains from a leak where the coolant is blown away and evaporates from the air flowing over the radiator. Some tanks are top and bottom, while others are on the sides.
While you’re under your hood it only takes a couple of minutes to check the other fluid levels: engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering and brake fluids, and to top off the windshield washer solvent. Low fluid levels can be fatal to their systems, and washer solvent can help keep the bugs of summer from becoming a giant smeared mess on your windshield! Or is the mess from the worn out wiper blades you have been meaning to replace since January?!
Again, if in doubt about how to check any these things, a quick visit to your garage may eliminate an unexpected headache you don’t want to deal with this summer and could possibly save you money in the long run.