By Evan Vitale
Traditionally August is the hottest month of the year. Soaring temperatures and high humidity can take a toll on the human body.
However, August is also tough on automobiles, so here are a few tips on how to keep your auto running well during this hot month and avoid a trip to the mechanic:
- When your car is cool, check your radiator fluids. If your radiator coolant has a milky or rusty color to it, then it’s time to have it flushed and changed. Remember: never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot. If you don’t want to do this yourself, have your mechanic check it for you during regular oil changes. You should always have your system flushed every 24,000 miles.
- Visually check your hoses for any leaks or cracks.
- Get into a regular habit of checking your oil level. Learn where your car’s dipstick is located and how to check your oil level. Depending on how much your drive, oil should be changed ever 3,000 miles or 3 months (whichever comes first).
- Keep an eye on your battery for corrosion around the battery posts. This will cause a poor connection making it difficult for your car to star and pull proper power during the summer months.
- Obviously, air conditioning is extremely important during the hottest month of the year. An easy test is to stick a thermometer through your car’s air vent to see how cool the air is that’s pumping into your car. If it’s not cool, you may want to consider changing your car’s cabin filter, which should be done every 20,000 miles. If you can’t get your AC to blow out cool air, then you should see an auto mechanic.
- Always keep an eye on your automobile’s temperature gauge (located on the dashboard) to make sure your car is not getting ready to overheat. Typically, driving at high speeds, idling in traffic or at a stop sign or running the AC will cause your car to heat up faster. If your temperature gauge is starting to climb to HOT (and possibly overheat), a quick solution is to turn off the air conditioner and turn the heater on MAX (yes, the heater!). This will help vent some of the engine heat and keep your car from overheating.
- The biggest concern during the summer months is an overheated car. If your car becomes overheated (and the little light on the dashboard warns you of such a problem), you should never continue to run your car as this can lead to expensive damage.
- Always keep an eye on your tires during the summer months and check your tire pressure frequently. Check your automobile manual to make sure you’re inflating your tires at the correct specifications.
These tips will help you – and your car – stay cool during the hottest month of the summer. Drive safe!