We hear lots of advertising about the need to “winterize” our cars each year. However, it is equally important to conduct proper maintenance for the summer months, too. Although road conditions are harsher in a Massachusetts winter, the heat of summer creates its own dangers for your vehicle.
Here’s a checklist of best practices for “summer-izing” your car.
- Air conditioning: The most common problems with air conditioning systems are a lack of refrigerant or a leak. Remember, too much heat is a danger to smaller children, the elderly, and pets.
- Air filter: Be sure to check the filter and replace it as needed. You may even notice a boost in gas mileage!
- Battery: Remove the battery cables and clean the terminals as well as the clamps a couple times a year.
- Belts/hoses: Inspect your belts for fraying. Often, they will emit a noise when they are damaged or out of proper alignment. For hoses, you will want to gently squeeze them to gauge the strength of the material and check for leaks.
- Brakes: Listen—signs that your brakes need service may be detected by ear. If you hear a fixed, abrasive sound it may mean that a brake caliper has failed and is “frozen.” If you notice that you have to engage the brake pedal for a longer period, you may have low brake fluid creating a lack of pressure.
- Cooling: The cooling system’s level of antifreeze/coolant and water should be checked regularly. If you notice that brightly colored coolant has leaked, address the problem immediately.
- Fluids: Your car has important liquids to keep filled, including: motor oil, antifreeze, coolant, automatic transmission, brake, power steering, and windshield fluid.
- Lights: When you have a non-functional headlight, it’s easy to see; however, taillights and turn signals may be overlooked. Be proactive in checking that all lights are functional.
- Oil: Motor oil levels can be easily checked using a “dipstick.” Adhere to the oil and filter change schedule recommended by the manufacturer.
- Tires: Regularly check the inflation and tread of your tires. You can measure the depth of your tire tread by inserting a penny with Lincoln’s head upside down in the grooves; if you can see the top of his head, then you need new tires.
- Wipers: The summer months can produce heavy rainstorms and create dangerous visibility concerns. Inspect your blades and replace them if they are worn.
Maintaining proper vehicle maintenance and safety is important, as a mechanical failure can have costly consequences. Similarly, motorists who operate their vehicles in a negligent or reckless manner can produce serious injuries. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact DiBella Law Offices, P.C., today at (781) 262-3338.