By Madeline Klein on March 31, 2021 in life hacks
Summer is meant to be full of pool parties, road trips and late-night happy hours, not the time to be broken down on the side of the road. With temperatures hitting record highs, we've got some tips to help keep your ride rolling in the summer heat.
Give Your Air Conditioning the VIP Treatment
AC is essential for those hot summer days, which means we've got to treat it like the MVP it is. You want to make sure your AC parts are all functioning properly and you’re using your AC as efficiently as possible.
When you start thinking about all of the parts - tubes, hoses, compressors, condensers, filters, belts, oh my! - it's easy to see there's a lot that could go wrong. If you're not handy under the hood and you think your AC could use a tune-up, you may want to have a professional give your system a once-over.
Using your AC efficiently is not only going to save you in gas, but it's also going to help preserve your system. Here are a few tips from Lifehacker:
- Drive with the windows down while blasting cold air in the footwells (since hot air naturally rises).
- While your windows are down, use the fresh air setting for the AC.
- Once you feel your car is cool enough to close the windows, switch the setting to recirculate.
Avoid the Engine Trouble
An overheated engine is one of the most common causes of a summer breakdown. Not only should you make sure your coolant is topped off, but you should also make sure it's clean. Car manufacturers typically recommend a radiator flush to replace the old coolant every 24 months or every 40,000-60,000 miles.
Stay on Top of Your Oil and Filter Changes
Extreme temperatures (hot or cold) demand more from your vehicle's oil. Make sure you're on top of your oil changes, especially if you're putting in theose miles for road trips, towing a camper or hauling a boat to the lake. Summer's dustier conditions can also cause some issues with your filters, which may call for more frequent replacements.
Keep Tire Pressure in Check
Check your tire pressure at least once a month to ensure the hot air isn't expanding your tires past their maximum - nobody wants a blowout. You can typically find your vehicle's max pressure on a sticker inside the door jam or in your owner's manual.
Keep Windshield Wipers and Fluids Fresh
It's always a good idea to check your windshield wipers for cracks and tears. If you've ever driven on a highway in the middle of summer, you know those bugs can be quite the formidable opponent for your windshield. Make sure you've got fresh fluid and blades to keep your windshield clear of dust and insects.
If you happen to be hitting the road for a trip this summer, don't forget to check out our summer road trip essentials packing list, complete with items to prepare you for potential summer breakdowns!