Now that summer is on its way, it is time to properly prep your car for the coming warm weathered months. Make sure that your summer runs smoothly with this short checklist:
[ ] Remove your winter tires and check air pressure of your summer tires.
It's time to take off those snow tires and switch to your summer or all-season tires. Snow tires are essential in the winter but they can be dangerous in the summer months; Winter tires wear quickly by using them on warm and dry roads.
Whether you are switching out your tires or already have your all-season tires on, make sure to double check your air pressure. There should be a guide for you in your owner's manual or a sticker on the body where the driver's door shuts. The pressure on your tire is the max amount, make sure you don't exceed that amount.
[ ] Check your A/C system.
With temperatures quickly rising, you'll need your air conditioner these next few months, and because it hasn't been used during the winter, you want to make sure it is working. Make sure to run the air conditioner to see if it will still turn to cold. While running it, make sure to notice any odd noises or odors coming from it. If you notice anything, take it in to be checked.
[ ] Check your wiper fluid and blades.
Summer rain storms can be no joke, so make sure you're prepared. After months clearing away winter weather patterns, your wipers are probably not in their best shape. You can first try to do a simple wiper cleaning, but if that doesn't get them in working condition than its time to replace them.
Additionally, make sure you are prepared to clear your windshields on your summer trips by refilling the wiper fluid.
[ ] Inspect under the hood to check your battery, oil, coolant and brake fluid.
In the cold and wet of winter, you most likely haven't looked under your car's hood for awhile. Make sure before you take a look, that the engine is cold. Once you pop the hood on your cool engine, you will want to be checking out your battery, oil, coolant and brake fluid.
Battery: Check for any corrosion on the battery terminals. This can be cleaned off using baking soda and a toothbrush. Check your battery again in a couple of weeks to make sure to see that the corrosion hasn't returned. If it does, make sure to take it in to be checked out by a mechanic because this could be an indication of a more serious issue.
Oil: Check your owner's manual to see what type of oil your car needs, check your oil level and if your maintenance light is on, don't put off coming in for an oil change.
Coolant: Check the level and condition of the coolant in your car's reservoir. The coolant should be clear. If not, take it in to be checked by a mechanic.
Brake fluid: Check your brake fluid level in your car's reservoir. If it looks low, do not top it off. The brake fluid will often drop to match the wear on your brake pads, or could be because of leak in the brake system. Topping it off would only be delaying a repair that will need to be done. Go to your local mechanic so they can take a look at your brake system to make sure a repair isn't necessary.
[ ] Wash and wax your car.
Winter conditions can be harsh on your vehicle's clear coat, paint and undercarriage. With less harsh conditions, the summer is a great time to get your vehicle cleaned or detailed.
[ ] Swap out your emergency gear.
You don't need a parka or blanket in your car emergency kit anymore. Make sure you have plenty of water in your car and double check that your batteries are okay in your flashlight. If your flares were used in the winter, make sure to replace them and double check that all of the components of your tire jack are in your car.