If you just purchased your first vehicle, you need to learn what type of maintenance that your vehicle needs to undergo throughout the year. Here are five tips that will help you navigate your vehicle's summer maintenance needs.
Check The Fluids
During the summer months, when it is already hot outside, it is very easy for your vehicle to overheat if it does not have the proper fluids inside of it. You can avoid this problem by checking on the fluid levels of your vehicle every few weeks.
When you pop open your hood, you should be able to check on the oil, power steering, coolant and washer fluid levels.
For the power steering, coolant and washer fluid levels, you should be able to look at the outside of the container and see if the fluid is below, at or above the fill line. If it is at the fill line, keep an eye on those fluid levels. If it is below the fill line, you can either add new fluids yourself or take your vehicle into your local mechanic.
For the oil, you will need to pull out the dipstick. You'll want to have a paper towel handy when you do this. When you pull out the dipstick, you'll want to look at the fluid levels in the stick and see if the fluid is at the full or low line on the stick. Many people like to pull out the dipstick, wipe it off, put it back into the oil, and check the levels again. This trick helps some people feel more comfortable about reading the oil levels.
Service The Air Conditioner
If you do not know when the vehicle's air conditioning was last serviced, you'll want to take it in to an auto shop like Budget Automotive Center to get it serviced before the weather starts to get really hot. When you take it in to get serviced, the gases and fluids that your air conditioning used will be exchanged for new fluids; think of it as an oil change for your air conditioning system. Your mechanic should also check your system for any leaks. Once you have had this done, you want to repeat this process every two years.
Change The Air Filter
Your air filter is going to get used a lot during the summer months, as you turn on your air conditioning almost every time you get into your vehicle. Change out your filter at the end of spring/beginning of summer. A fresh air filter will ensure that the air you are breathing is clean and will cause your air conditioner to not have to work as hard.
Reduce The Heat
In the summer, the temperature in the inside of your vehicle can rise rapidly. When you park your car, roll the windows down just a tiny bit, so that air can continue to circulate in your vehicle. This will help prevent your vehicle from being so sweltering hot when you get in it.
Next, reduce the heat further by purchasing blinds or covers that you can put up over your front and rear windshield. You can also purchase covers that hang or stick to your side windows. When you park your vehicle, put up these covers; they will help keep your vehicle cool.
As a first time car owner, it is vital that you keep an eye on the fluid levels in your vehicle this summer. By taking the simple maintenance steps above, your car will ride smoothly this summer.