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Summer Driving Checklist

With the official start of summer next week it is a good time to make sure your vehicle is ready to cope with the summer heat and road-trips. Below is a simple checklist to make sure your summer driving is comfortable and stress free:

☑Air Conditioning
The air conditioning system can give many hints that something is not right. If your AC makes unusual noises or odors, gives a poor air flow, or blows hot air instead of cold, these are all signs that your AC system needs attention. The typical service involves a thorough inspection, a pressure check to test refrigerant charge and more checks of your outlet temperatures and the compressor’s drive belt for wear, tear and tension. You should have leaks repaired if there is a significant leak or if you are recharging your system every year.

☑Cooling System
The primary function of the cooling system is to keep the engine from overheating. The system should be flushed and refilled as recommended by your owner’s manual. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked. If there’s a leak, you should be able to spot — or hear — it. Coolant also has a sweet smell which makes it easy to detect.

Check your tire pressure and tread for safety, handling and fuel economy. The recommendations for your car can be found in your owner’s manuals or on the sticker inside the driver’s door.

Excessive heat and overcharging shorten the life of a battery. Have checked for corrosion, cracks and dirt and make sure it still operates as designed and then have it cleaned or replaced if necessary.

☑Oil, Fluids & Filters
Check oil and fluid levels are where they should be. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations on when fluids and oil should be changed or flushed. Have your air filter, cabin air filter and fuel filter checked and replaced if needed.

Check for brake pad wear by viewing the pads from outside the front tire. On most cars, you can look through the openings on the outside of the wheel/rim assembly to see the pads. If the pad depth is at 3/32 of an inch, plan on replacing it soon. If it’s less than 2/32 of an inch, you’re getting close to damaging the rotor, so do it ASAP. This varies slightly from car to car, but is a good general guideline.

☑Belts & Hoses
Check for wear, fraying, cracks and leaks caused by heat, mileage, age, belt tension, corrosion or contamination. Completing a maintenance and safety inspection of your vehicle when seasons change is a good way to catch and rectify issues before they become inconvenient and sometimes expensive problems.

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