It is looking like one of those summers in Texas, likely record temps and long stretches of days above 100 degrees. Most people underestimate the toll this takes on their car.
Here are five things you can do to keep your car running instead of sitting on the side of the road:
Check your tires
Checking your tires is a good idea especially when the pavement is so hot. Over time, your tires become deflated and need to be topped off with air. Usually, your car’s owner’s manual will have the proper air pressure, but you can check the driver doorjamb for a sticker with the prescribed pressure. Low tires can hurt your fuel economy and make it harder to steer, which is a safety issue. Also, make sure you have plenty of tread and that the wear is even. If your tread is low or worn unevenly, visit a tire shop to remedy the problem as soon as possible.
Get your brakes inspected
Your brakes are among the most important safety devices in your car. Worn-out brakes can mean the difference between a quick stop and a serious accident. If you haven’t had your brakes checked in the past year, swing by a shop to have them inspect the wear on your pads. A visual inspection takes only a few minutes.
Inspect your belts
As a car ages, belts become dry and brittle, causing them to crack and break. If a belt snaps on the road, your car will stop running and you’ll lose a lot of time and money. The time it takes to get a belt inspection is a fraction of the time it takes to get towed.
Top off coolant
Your car’s cooling system is critical when the weather heats up and you’re running the air conditioner a lot. If your car’s coolant light has come on recently, check the coolant level. Only check your coolant when the engine is cool, and make sure to top off with distilled water or the proper coolant.
Refill window washer fluid reservoir
When there isn’t a lot of rain, your windshield will become covered in dust and bugs. You can quickly and easily remove these by making sure that your washer fluid reservoir is full. You can buy the fluid at any auto parts store, and it’s relatively cheap. The washer fluid reservoir is easy to find under the hood, just look for the picture of a windshield on the cap.
Jerry Reynolds is an auto industry expert and the host of nationally syndicated Car Pro Show heard Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on News Radio KTRH 740 AM, and Sports/Radio 610 KILT AM, Saturday 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and online at www.CarProUSA.com.