7 tips for driving in the summer heat

June 21 2018

For you, summer road trips mean fun in the sun. For your vehicle, these trips can mean extra mileage in harsh conditions. Luckily, a good once-over and some simple maintenance can ensure that your car can handle the heat. Here are a few things to double-check before you head out.

1. Stay cool. Have your AC serviced annually to make sure the Freon charge is correct and that all the parts, such as the filter, condenser and evaporator, are functioning properly. When possible, park in the shade to protect your seats and steering wheel from the sun, or invest in a sunshade. 

2. Power up. Hot weather can drain a weak battery. Test your voltage using a digital multimeter or enlist the services of a trained professional. 

3. Check your tires. Underinflation causes tires to wear faster, and overinflation can increase the risk of hydroplaning. Use a tire gauge to get the most accurate measurement. While you're at it, be sure to check the tread.

4. See clearly. Rubber wiper blades eventually break down. Ideally, you should install new blades every 6 to 12 months for maximum performance.

5. Top off. Your vehicle depends on a number of fluids for proper operation. Transmission fluid ensures smooth shifting, radiator fluid prevents overheating and wiper fluid helps keep your windshield clean for maximum visibility.

6. Eliminate odors. Heat exacerbates lingering smells. An easy, cheap fix? Tape a dryer sheet to the AC vent to help keep your car smelling fresh.

7. Be prepared. Always carry the essentials: a flashlight, a tire gauge, a phone charger and jumper cables. When the temps are higher, keeping a water bottle handy is also a good idea.

As you hit the road this summer, hopefully this helps you prepare your car for the weather and gather everything you need to enjoy the trip.

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