Not many people think about their driving habits when the seasons change, but certain temperatures and weather conditions are cause for some extra focus on the road. Surely the harsh winter months can make being on the road a pain at times and require its own driving specialized techniques, but eTags has broken down some Summer driving tips that you may have not known are important for even the sunniest of days.
Get Your Car Serviced
The summer heat can be rough on engines. Regular maintenance like tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks and tire rotations can all help prevent your car from breaking down during the summer. If your car is serviced per the manufacturer’s recommendations, you’ll be all the more ready to push on with your daily commute or travel. If you think you may in danger of having your car leaving you stranded on a hot summer day (or any day for that matter), schedule a preventative maintenance check with a mechanic. Also, eTags recommends you check for recall notices on your vehicle and make sure you get any necessary repairs on recalled parts that may affect safety measures in your vehicle.
Check Tire Pressure
Drastic swings in temperature can cause car tires to deflate. Sometimes, in the summer, the days can be stifling hot with the nights becoming cool and breezy. If the temperature swings more than 20 degrees within 24 hours, there’s a good chance your tires have experienced some air loss. Check your vehicle’s tire pressure at least once a month and do so while the tires are cold (when the car hasn’t been driven for a few hours).
Make Sure Lights Work
Daytime is longer in the summer and so you may be driving less at night than you were earlier in the year but it’s important to make sure you can see and be seen when you do drive at night. Frequently check to see if your headlights, break lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and interior lights are all in working condition. If you tow something behind your vehicle, make sure the tails lights or added lights are working on those as well. This is particularly important in the summer when it’s more common to be hauling boats, RVs or trailers.
Check Cooling System
This is perhaps the most important safety tip for driving in the summer because it will affect whether or not your vehicle’s air conditioning works and how hot your engine gets. The radiator in your car needs water and antifreeze (coolant) to keep your engine functioning right. When your car hasn’t been running for a while and it’s completely cool, check to make sure your coolant reservoir is full. Furthermore, if your coolant is clear, looks rusty or has particles floating in it, it’s time to have the cooling system flushed and refilled.
Replace Wiper Blades
Summer rain storms can be treacherous and the only thing worse than getting stuck in one while driving is getting stuck in one while driving and having wiper blades with so much wear and tear that they can’t get the job done. Check your wiper blades to see what condition they’re in and replace them if need be.
Child and Pet Safety
It is important to keep in mind that you should never leave a child or pet unattended in a car during the summer months. Vehicles naturally experience the Greenhouse Effect and their interior temperatures can exceed those of outside. If you are traveling with pets, take them with you when you leave the vehicle or leave them at home if you think they won’t be able to enter certain buildings are areas. If you are a parent or guardian with a child, put your purse, wallet, or phone in the backseat when you are traveling with your child so that you don’t forget they are there. While it may seem inconceivable to forget your child in your car, it happens more than you think especially when there is a change to your daily routine.