Posted May 21, 2015
Most owners are aware that winter is hard on their cars. The stresses that salt, cold, ice, and poor roads add mean that preparing for winter is crucial, and when winter is over there is often damage to be repaired. People do not often stop to consider how summer – that magical season in Michigan – can also do a number on cars. Let’s go through some of the challenges you should be aware that your car faces so you can take steps to mitigate that summer heat.
- Batteries – Cold is hard on car batteries, but excessive heat isn’t good for them either. When it’s very hot, the water contained in battery fluid will evaporate out, and this will cause damage to the battery’s grids. Battery corrosion accelerates when temperatures are high and corrosion acts as an insulator, inhibiting current flow. All of this causes the battery to have to work harder to accomplish the same task, shortening its life.
- Cooling system – Since a car’s cooling system is designed to keep the engine from overheating, it makes sense that it would have to work harder when the mercury rises. Both the radiator and the coolant itself have to be clean and functioning in order for that to happen. If your car’s coolant is old, it may be filled with dirt or rust or otherwise ineffective. This is why it’s important to flush out your radiator and replace your coolant at least once per year.
- Tires – Heat is hard on a car’s tires as well, as the pressure in them rises when the temperature does.
Ask your mechanic to give your car a once over for summer the next time you take your car in. This would include a checking the electrical system to make sure the battery is charging at the proper rate and has not lost fluid. The battery and the radiator need to be clean and clear of corrosion or debris, and the coolant levels should be checked. Your mechanic can also do a pressure test, a temperature test, a cooling fan test, and a check of all leaks and belts to make sure your car’s cooling system is in good working order.
Keeping tires in good shape in summer means checking the pressure at least once a month and keeping the rotated on a schedule so the wearing remains even. This is something owners can do without too much effort and will ensure that no summer breakdowns due to tire trouble occur during either vacations or long drives in the country or to the beach.
Veenstra’s Garage would love to help you keep your car in great shape for summer. It’s too enjoyable here in Michigan to miss a minute because of car problems, large or small.