Winterizing your vehicle in preparation for the cold winter months is widely talked about and practiced. However, getting your vehicle ready for the long, hot summer months is often overlooked. With summer quickly approaching, now is the time to make sure your ride is ready! These 10 tips on getting your vehicle ready for summer will help ensure you are able to make the most of your warm-weather adventures.
Wash Off the Winter Grime
It's good to wash your vehicle inside and out at least a couple of times a year. This is especially true if you live in an area that experiences snow and ice. The exterior is exposed to salt, sand, gravel, snow, ice, and so much more during the winter. You then drag these substances into the interior of the vehicle when you step in and out. Using high-quality, vehicle-safe cleaners, wash your vehicle from top to bottom, inside and out. This will remove substances that can cause rust and the deterioration of the frame over time. It is also advisable to wash and treat the engine bay. This makes it much easier to diagnose if a mechanical issue arises.
Tires are one of the most essential parts of your truck or Jeep. They also endure a lot during their lifetime. Riding on unsafe tires is not only detrimental to your vehicle but can have an impact on your safety. A tire may blow out, causing you to lose control of the vehicle and wreck. Underinflated tires can also cause your vehicle to handle and respond differently, leading to accidents. Here are some things you should check for:
- Proper inflation
- Bubble in the sidewalls
- Uneven wear
- Visible wear bars
- Missing balance weights
Can Your Brakes Stop?
Brakes are essential for ensuring your vehicle can stop efficiently. Brake pads undergo significant temp changes, especially during the winter. They heat up to high temperatures when in use and then to freezing temps. When the seasons begin to change, it is vital to check the health of your brakes. If you are capable, removing the wheels can help make the inspection easier.
- Check brake pads for significant wear and cracking
- Check brake pads for thickness
- Check rotors and drums for defects
Be sure to check the brake fluid as well. If the levels are low, your brakes will not operate properly, and in worst-case scenarios they may not work at all! Reference the owner's manual for appropriate levels.
How's the Oil?
Want to ruin your engine? Not staying on top of the oil in your vehicle is a great way to do that. First, check to make sure the oil level is good. Most dipsticks have a mark that tells you where the oil should be. If not, consult your owner's manual. If the oil level is low, add new oil, just be sure not to overfill. The second thing to check is the color of your oil. It should be a nice amber color. If it's dark and dirty, it is time for an oil change.
Check the Coolant
Before hot weather rolls in, you should check your coolant levels and ratio. The radio tank should be full. If it is not, you should add new coolant until it is. A coolant tester, which is widely available at most auto parts stores, will tell if you need to adjust the ratio of water to ethylene glycol. Of course, consult your owner's manual for specifications pertaining to your particular model.
Where are Your Transmission Fluid Levels?
Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, you need to check the level of transmission fluid. Your owner's manual will tell you where the level should be. Avoid overfilling as it can cause rough shifting and gear slippage. On the other hand, levels that are too low can burn up the torque converter. The fluid should be a bright red. If it is not, you need to flush the system and put new transmission fluid in.
Inspect the Battery
Batteries endure a lot every time they crank your car. This is especially true during cold weather. Carefully inspect your battery to make sure the fluid level is up. Look for signs of visible discharge or acid leakage around the top. It is also important to make the terminals are securely fastened and that there aren't any cracks or visible defects.
If you aren't sure if your battery is good, many auto parts stores will test your battery for free.
Replace Windshield Wipers
Windshield wipers take a beating during the winter, scraping ice off the windshield. The tiny shards of ice wreak havoc on the rubber blades. Check your wipers because chances are you will need a fresh set before summer storms set in.
Are You Ready for Summer?
Vehicle maintenance in preparation for summer is just as important as it is for winter! The tips above will help you ensure your ride is ready for warm weather. We've got you covered if you want to take it a step further and customize your vehicle. As the largest customization shop on the east coast, Carolina Customs has everything you need to make your ride everything you want it to be. From wheels and tires to lighting, lift kits, and so much more, we are your one-stop shop for mods. No project is too big or too small. Contact us today, and let's get started!