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The Summer Car Care Checklist

Help protect your car or truck with a carport from Alan’s Factory Outlet.

You probably give your car a checkup in the fall before the cold weather sets in, but that’s not the only time of year when you need to worry about your car’s condition. Today, I made a list of things to check so your car will be in shipshape for those long summer road trips as well as for everyday driving near home.

The Oil

Have you ever heard the engine oil referred to as the lifeblood of a car? It’s true. You can check the oil level in your car by examining the dipstick: If the oil is low, add some. If it’s time to change the oil, you can change it yourself if you have a driveway or enough space to do it at home. If you’re going on a long road trip and you’re close to your oil change date, change it before you leave so you can start your journey with clean oil.

The Battery

Do a visual inspection of your battery to see if there’s any corrosion around its connections. This can be a sign that it needs to be replaced. You can also go to a local auto parts store to get your battery tested. Some stores do it for free! This test can tell you if you have a battery that’s getting ready to fail or one that has plenty of life left in it.

Windshield Wipers and Wiper Fluid

Do a simple test on your windshield wipers to see what condition they are in. Ask a friend to spray your windshield with a hose as you run the wipers. Are they swishing the water away evenly, or are they dragging in places? If your wipers are dragging or missing spots on the windshield, it’s time to replace them. In addition, open your hood and check the level of the windshield wiper fluid. If it’s partially full, pour in some more. I suggest cleaning your windshield wiper blades once a week with a clean rag dipped in vinegar. Also, put a bit of rubber protectant on them. These simple steps can increase the number of months you get out of your wiper blades.

The Tires

As the temperatures change, so does your tire pressure. The proper pressure for your tires is usually listed on a sticker on your driver’s-side door. Check the pressure of each of your tires using a gauge and give them some air if they need it. Tires with proper air pressure in them reduce resistance and increase the fuel economy of your car. I like to do the penny test to check the condition of my tread as well.

The Air Filter

Get your air filter checked at the dealership or an oil change place. This filter should be changed every 12,000 miles or so. If the air filter is dirty, it needs to be replaced so your engine can work at its most efficient.

Tips on How to Save Money on a Long Car Trip

  • Use cruise control on long trips to reduce unnecessary speed changes and increase fuel economy.
  • Reduce air conditioner use by parking in the shade and directing the vents so the cool air flows throughout the car when the AC is on.
  • Close the windows while driving on the highway to reduce drag and maintain fuel economy.

Taking these steps to prep your car for the summer months can help you avoid issues on the road. Thanks for reading. – Alan

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