Get Your Ride Ready for Summer

With the summer heat starting up across the country, now is the perfect time to get your vehicle ready for the warmer weather. Between the heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic, your vehicle will really be put through its paces over the next few months. Breaking down on the side of the road on a hot day isn't only inconvenient and uncomfortable, it can be downright dangerous. This is especially true for pets, children, and the elderly. Here are a few tips to prepare you for the heat.

Spark Plugs: You often think of hard-to-start cars as being a winter thing. But, misfiring spark plugs or worn ignition wires can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 30%. With today's fuel prices, that would be almost a wasted dollar on every gallon. Plus, replacing worn-out automotive spark plugs will improve combustion while reducing unwanted emissions.

Air Conditioning: While you may not think of the A/C system as critical to your car or truck, it definitely is. Overheated drivers are not as safe as comfortable ones and passengers with medical conditions are especially at risk. If your system is "sort of" working you can be sure it will fail on a hot summer day. Have it inspected by a qualified tech, even if you are a do-it-yourselfer. Newer vehicles often include cabin air filters, which can be tricky to navigate on your own.

Radiator: The most common cause of a breakdown during the summer is a failing cooling system. Once your vehicle over heats you'll definitely be stranded on the roadside. Most drivers don't realize that their cooling system should be flushed and refilled with new fluid once every 2 years. The condition of the fluid along with the level and concentration should be checked with every oil change.

Filters: Remember the dust mentioned earlier? Well this can quickly clog up vital components of your engine. Have your fuel, air, and oil filters checked and replaced if necessary to ensure optimal engine performance.

Tires: Though it is hot during the day, it can often cool down by 20 or 30 degrees at night in some parts of the country. This dramatic change in temperature can put a lot of stress on your tires as the air pressure will expand and contract naturally. Plus the sun beating down on the rubber can dry it out and make it more susceptible to puncture. Have your tires checked, rotated, and replaced if necessary.


A close-up view of a brand-new nickel electrode spark plug for an automotive internal combustion engine.
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