Summer is a popular time to drive, whether on a short trip to the beach or a week-long road trip. Summertime tune-ups were once a costly annual chore, but modern vehicles are designed to need much less frequent maintenance. Nonetheless, there are still a few items any driver should check off the list when the weather gets warmer.
Tires require a delicate balance of internal pressure to function safely and effectively. Without proper tire pressure, a car is unable to handle optimally and some tires can wear down faster than others. Experts recommend that drivers check their tire pressure at least once each month, at which time it is also a good idea to inspect the tires for wear. It is also important to swap out tires designed specifically to handle the snow. These tires offer an unnecessary level of traffic for warm weather conditions and the warmer roads wear them out faster.
While it is tempting to pile summer athletic and camping gear into the back seat of the car, excess weight can actually put pressure on the car’s internal systems and frame. The total weight carrying capacity is printed inside the driver’s side door on most newer vehicles. Staying within this weight limit is a good way to prevent an increase in outdoor activities and other cargo-carrying trips from putting too much strain on a vehicle.
Summertime adventures are safer and more convenient with a portable GPS navigation system. While many newer vehicles come with a pre-installed GPS system, older cars can be equipped with affordable and portable GPS units. Portable GPS systems mount easily to any dashboard and they provide drivers with helpful information on traffic, offer alternative routes, and even alert emergency services in the event of an accident.
Before heading out on any summer road trip, it is important to make sure the air conditioning system is functioning optimally. Fortunately, determining whether an air-conditioner is working is as easy as turning it on to see if the air that comes out is cold. Air-conditioner problems tend to be highly noticeable, such as strange odors coming from the vent or rattling sounds when the unit is on. Some minor problems can be solved by a simple cleaning, but coolant leaks and other serious problems often require replacement.
Dry summer weather means an increase in dust and insect debris on the windshield. Drivers should check the wiper fluid reservoir to make sure they have enough fluid to clear the windshield effectively. Wiper fluid is relatively affordable and comes in multiple varieties, including formulations designed to keep bugs off the windshield.
Summer brings unique driving concerns along with beautiful weather and the possibility for new adventures. Being mindful of these summertime driving considerations is the best way to ensure stress-free road trips and safe travel around town.