5 Summer Car Care Tips You Can’t Ignore

Get familiar with common summer car problems and how to avoid them.

Got big travel plans this summer? You won’t get far if your car leaves you stranded. Summer car care is essential to help you keep your ride in good condition.

Extreme heat and unpredictable weather can cause extra wear and tear on your vehicle. Common car problems you’re at risk for in the summer include:

  • Oil thinning: High temperatures cause your oil to become less viscous, which decreases lubrication and can damage the engine.
  • Tire wear: Scorching pavement causes tires to wear down faster, which impacts fuel efficiency and performance.
  • Engine damage: Heat adds stress to engines, leading to overheating and breakdowns.

These problems can be serious and costly to fix if left unaddressed. Don’t let car issues interrupt your travel plans — here’s how you can prevent them.

1. Run a Thorough Car Check

Get your car a quick checkup, including:

  • Air conditioner. If your car is blowing warm air with the AC on, you may have a problem with the cooling system.
  • Engine fluids. Replace the oil and top off the coolant, transmission, brake, windshield washer, and power steering fluids.
  • Tire pressure and treads. Use a tire pressure gauge to check each tire’s pressure according to your car owner’s manual recommendations. You can also use the penny trick to check your tire’s tread depth.
  • Brakes. Make sure your brake lights work, and check how responsive your brakes are when engaged. Take note of any bouncing, pulling, or strange noises while braking.
  • Battery life. Visually inspect the battery for corrosion and use a multimeter to check its voltage strength.

A thorough inspection can reveal issues before they become bigger problems. Any reputable mechanic can do this for you, or if you have some car know-how and the right tools, you can check these areas yourself and save a few bucks.

2. Replace Faulty or Worn Components If Needed

If your checkup reveals issues, address them sooner than later. For example, now is a good time to change the oil and filter, replace windshield wipers, and replace the air filter and cabin filter. You might also rotate your tires or replace tires if needed.

3. Clean Your Car

A good wash, detailing, and wax don’t just help your car look good; they also protect it from summer elements like bird droppings, acid rain, and UV rays.

Start with a professional-grade car shampoo that’s eco-friendly and doesn’t contain any VOCs. A quality car shampoo will rinse cleanly and won’t leave behind water spots or strip the wax or coating from your car.

After you wash, follow up with a gel wax or car polish to seal and protect the paint. Polishes and waxes aren’t permanent and will need to be applied every few months. But they’re a great helper in repelling dirt and debris, protecting your car from harmful UV rays, and maintaining its sleek showroom appearance. Cilajet’s ceramic coating is also a longer lasting solution (5+ years in a single application) form of paint protection.

4. Park Your Car in the Shade

Here’s an easy way to care for your car in the summer—stay in the shade. It’s simple but effective in avoiding overheating. Plus, keep in mind that UV rays may damage your car’s paint and tires.

If you’re out and about, try searching for parking in a parking deck or under trees in a parking lot. Any little bit of shade will help, plus your car will feel cooler and comfier when you’re ready to move on to your next destination.

5. Keep Your Engine Cool

Your car’s coolant, hoses, thermostat, radiator, and water pump work together to cool your engine. But your engine might overheat if one or more components aren’t working right. If you experience steam coming from the car, an overly hot hood, strange noises, odd smells, or an issue with the temperature gauge, see a mechanic as soon as possible.

Keeping Your Car in Summer-Ready Condition

Caring for your car is a year-round commitment, but there are special considerations for summertime driving. This is the time of year many people are traveling more. They’re also visiting places where their vehicles are exposed to harsher elements, like the salty air at the beach.

With these tips, you can keep your car in summer-ready condition and make your investment look better and last longer.

Need help prepping your car for summer? Find a Cilajet dealer near you!