Help Your Car Survive Extreme Hawaii Summer Heat
7 Car Maintenance Tips
If you drive frequently during the summer in Hawaii, you know how important it is to maintain your vehicle properly. The car maintenance tips below will help you keep your vehicle safe and running smoothly. An overheated car is never good. Keeping your vehicle cool is key to preventing damage to your car and avoiding costly repairs.
7 Car Maintenance Tips Checklist
One of the most basic things you can do to make sure your car can withstand the heat of the summer is to check the tire pressure. Hot pavement increases tire pressure and causes tire blowouts. Check tires for leaks, cracks, and faulty valves, and replace worn tires as early as possible.
You should measure your tire pressure before you start your journey to assure the tires are at the proper level. This is because the friction from driving causes the tires to heat up and affects tire pressure. If you check the air pressure again after driving, you may see a different reading. Tires lose pressure every 10 degrees of change in temperature and tire pressure will drop by one pound for every 10 degrees of colder weather.
There are many reasons why your car may run low on coolant, including a leak. Leaks can originate anywhere along the cooling system. Carefully check the radiator, hoses, and water pump. If you notice a low coolant warning light on your dashboard, stop and investigate immediately. In extreme cases, a low coolant warning light may indicate a major problem.
Your car’s engine fluids keep the parts lubricated and cool. In hot weather, these fluids can evaporate and reduce the cooling effect. Low levels can also lead to an overheated car. In addition to the coolant, be sure to keep an eye on the levels of oil, transmission fluid, and brake fluid. To check the fluid levels of different components of your vehicle, refer to your owner’s manual. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use of the fluids.
Most cars today come equipped with sophisticated computer monitoring systems to warn you of any problems. They also alert you to perform car maintenance. You should always pay attention to these warning lights. Getting an early head’s up on a minor issue will help you deal with it before it turns into something bigger. This can also help you avoid accidents and unsafe driving conditions. Understanding how to read your dashboard lights and knowing what they mean will help you save money and stay safe.
Batteries & A/C
The high heat of summer is tough on your car’s batteries and air conditioning. Summer temperatures can cause battery fluid to evaporate which reduces its efficiency and lifespan. To avoid a dead battery, replace it every three to five years, keep the terminals clean, and check your electrical system to make sure it’s charging properly.
Check for Overheating
It is especially important to check an overheating car. Overheating can damage your car’s engine and cause major problems. If you think your car may be overheating turn off the air conditioner and stop immediately to let it cool down. Check the thermostat by opening the hood and removing the radiator cap. If the thermostat is stuck closed, your car will overheat. Make sure to engage your parking brake before you begin this process. Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot.
Inspect Belts and Hoses
Check your serpentine belt for signs of wear and tear. Visually check for cracks, fraying and visible threads. On older vehicles with V-belts, turn the belt over and look underneath for cracking or excessive wear. Examine the hoses when the car is cool. Check the radiator hose, heater hose, fuel hose, power steering, and brake hoses.
You can find the location of the hoses in your vehicle owner’s manual. To inspect hoses, check the clamp connection and visually inspect for cracks nicks, bulges, and fraying near the connection points. Squeeze the hoses to look for soft spots. Rubber hoses should be pliable, but not mushy. Most mechanics recommend replacing hoses every four years as part of routine car maintenance.
7 Car Maintenance Tips for Extreme Hawaii Summer Heat
Article by CarMark Hawaii