When the sun is shining, it can be hard to focus on anything other than getting in the car and heading out. Regardless of how much or little you expect to be driving in hot weather, it is a good idea to give your vehicle a good once-over to ensure it is ready before every road trip. Prevention and planning may take a little time up front but can spare you from dealing with the consequences of a breakdown—or worse yet, an accident.
To be prepared for Connecticut’s hot summer and late autumn heat waves, be sure to monitor and maintain your car using the following checklist:
Tire Blowout Prevention
To prevent tire blowouts during hot weather, have your tires inspected monthly, especially before long trips. You should also rotate your tires regularly. Tire rotations prevent uneven tire wear and help ensure that all tires have the same amount of tread. Tires become more likely to fail as they get worn down.
Monitor Your Tire Pressure
Tires expand when exposed to heat, so it is important to maintain the correct pressure to prevent trouble with your vehicle. Overinflated and underinflated tires can lead to early treadwear and the possibility of tire explosion.
It is a good idea to check your tire pressure regularly when you visit a gas station (or at home if you own a tire pressure gauge).
Check Your Fluids
Monitoring your vehicle’s fluids can save you a lot of hassle during hot weather months. We all need water to stay active and prevent dehydration, and your vehicle isn’t any different. You should check the following fluids on a regular basis:
● Brake fluid
● Motor oil
● Windshield wiper fluid
● Power-steering fluid
● Transmission fluid
Replace Your Old Battery
Heat is one of the worst enemies to your car battery as it can lead to internal breakdowns. In addition, extreme heat can evaporate your battery fluid which leads to corrosion on connections and terminals.
The typical car battery lasts for five years. However, a battery can last shorter or longer depending on the way you drive and the weather. It's recommended that you have your battery inspected twice a year.
Get Your Car Belts and Hoses Inspected
Your belts and hoses may need to be replaced if they crack, blister, or suffer other damage due to intense heat. Hoses and belts are essential to keeping your car cool; when they break down from the heat, they can cause your radiator to overheat, which can permanently render your vehicle out of service.
Make Sure Your Car's Interior Stays Cool
To get the most out of your cooling system, get the cabin air filter in your car inspected (and replaced, if necessary).
Invest in an Emergency Kit for Your Car
An emergency vehicle kit is great to have in your car year-round. You should keep your kit somewhere safe and accessible, and it should include the following items:
● A first aid kit
● Jumper cables
● Road flares
● A flashlight
● Nonperishable food items
An emergency kit is something you hope you’ll never need to use, but you’ll be grateful you have it if the need ever arises!