How to Prep Your Car for Long Summer Drives

June 26, 2017

Before you hit the highway this summer, check these three things to make sure that your vehicle is in good condition.

Summer in Canada means family vacations, cottage-filled weekends, lots of camping and long road trips. Aside from hosing down the exterior surface of your vehicle and making sure those foot mats are free from winter muck, there are other important things to check for that a lot of people seem to forget.

Hot temperatures, just like cold, can be hard on a vehicle, so when the season switches from ice and sleet into thunderstorms and blazing heat, it’s crucial to maintain the health of your car. Before you hit the highway this summer, check these three things to make sure that your vehicle is in good condition.

1. Tire Pressure

It’s essential that you swap out your winter tires for all-season or summer tires, but it’s also critical to check the air pressure in all fours (including the spare). Without the proper air pressure in your tires, you could damage the alignment on your vehicle and you could also be at a greater risk for an accident on the road. If you’re using a set of summer tires from last year, check for any wear or damage on tread to prevent slippage if you get stuck in the middle of a summer thunderstorm. Tires that are inflated in accordance to the owner’s manual will last longer and can increase your fuel efficiency.

2. Windshield Wipers

You’re bound to drive through the occasional storm this summer, and a lot of people forget how harsh ice and snow can be on windshield wipers. An impaired view from worn-out wipers can put you at risk for an accident on the road.

Wiper blades and fluids are designed to work in all sorts of weather, but blades for the summer work differently compared to winter blades. Wiper fluid in freezing temperatures helps to de-ice, however over time your blades take a beating. If your windshield wipers leave a streak on your window, it’s a good sign that you should change them.

3. Air Conditioning System

Although a ton of Canadians prefer to drive with the air conditioning off, for sake of emergency, it’s necessary to ensure that it’s working after a long winter of heat-blasting. If you hear any strange noises or smell any unusual odors coming from the system, it might mean that you have a leak or that it needs to be cleaned. Make sure that any debris from the winter is cleaned out of the condenser, which is located at the front of your car near the license plate. The cooling system in a vehicle has to work hard during the summer months, so make sure that you’re paying attention to it, especially in severe heat.

Minimize the toll that the weather will take on your car this summer with these precautions. Not only will checking for these three things increase the lifespan of your car, but it will also help keep you and your family safe on the road!

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