Always give yourself something to look forward to. The snow will soon melt, and the roads will be more inviting for driving adventures. Plan to get your car ready for summer!
The cold deters many drivers from doing vehicle maintenance during the wintertime. Keep an eye on the forecast to take advantage of warmer spring days to follow these eight car preparation tips.
At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we want to help you get your car ready for summer by affirming you have the insurance you need. Contact one of our independent agents today to ensure your policy is road-ready.
Get Your Car Ready For Summer Adventures
Warmer seasons are welcome after our cold Minnesota winter, but summertime can be hard on cars. The air conditioner must combat our heat and humidity. The tires expand, and the belts can wear more. Before summer arrives, it’s a good idea to give your car care from the ground up.
1. Get The Tires Ready to Roll
Change the snow tires off your car. Their construction doesn’t hold up well in the summer heat, so switch to all-season or summer tires.
A rule of thumb is to swap when temperatures reach the mid-40s °F. In our area, this usually happens from mid-March to mid-April.
If you have a mechanic do this, the shop should inflate the tires to their correct air pressure. You’ll want to confirm the air pressure about once a week throughout the summer.
Look in the driver-side door jamb for the recommended pounds per square inch (psi). It’s best to check the air pressure in the morning before driving.
Keeping the tires at their target pressure extends their life, improves fuel efficiency, and helps prevent blowouts.
2. Spring Clean Your Car
The Minnesota Department of Transportation uses mostly salt in its work to clear snow and ice from our winter highways. At temperatures below 15 °F, they also add other chemicals.
After winter driving, clean all this grime from your car. Get your car ready for summer with a thorough washing of the wheel wells and undercarriage.
After months of driving with dirty boots, clean the mats and vacuum the interior on a warm spring day. Place the cleaned mats in their proper spots to be sure they don’t interfere with safe driving.
3. Prepare the Wiper Blades for Summer Rain
Do you notice smudges not entirely clearing from the windshield after washing your car? Inspect the wiper blades to see if they need replacing.
Winter conditions wear out wiper blades and drain the wiper fluid from its use removing ice from the windshield. Summer wipers are made differently and better suited to handle the sun and heat.
Being able to see clearly keeps you safer on the road. Installing new summer wiper blades and filling up your windshield washing fluid will get your car ready for summer driving. There are even summer formulas that work better against bugs.
4. Stay Cool with A/C for You and Coolant for Your Car
You know summer’s coming when you finally get to turn the dial from heating to air conditioning! Run the A/C to feel if it’s blowing cold air and check for unusual sounds or smells. Note anything unexpected in case the system needs professional attention.
If the coolant levels are too low, your engine may overheat. When the motor hasn’t been running, check the coolant level in the overflow reservoir, or have a pro take a look at its level and chemicals mix.
Get your car ready to stay cool this summer. Keep you and your passengers cool with functioning air conditioning. Keep your car’s engine from overheating with the right quality and quantity of coolant.
5. Change the Oil
Depending on the oil your car uses, it’ll be due for a change every 3500 to 5000 miles. Refer to your owner’s manual for which kind your car needs and how often to change it.
During summer driving, check the oil level about once a week when the engine is cool in the morning. Dusty roads can clog the oil filter, so consider changing that at your midsummer oil change.
6. Lights, Brakes, and Battery Included
If an automotive shop changes your oil, they’ll also likely check your lights. You can do this yourself too with the help of another person. Change any burned-out bulbs.
Look in your owner’s manual for recommendations on professional brake inspections. Take your car in if you hear sounds when braking or if it’s taking longer to stop. It may be time for replacements.
Manufacturers intend modern batteries to be maintenance-free. An older battery may have corrosion around the terminals. You can clean this with a toothbrush and baking soda. If it returns, it’s likely time to replace the battery.
7. Swap Winter Gear For Summer Supplies
Just as you change your winter tires and wipers, change your emergency winter gear out for summer travel supplies. It’s almost time to store the snow shovel and sand and break out the bug spray!
Baby wipes come in handy whether you have young passengers or not. Towels serve you well if you make a fun summer pit stop to wade in a stream. They’ll also become a picnic blanket if you get an ice cream treat.
Even with good air conditioning, summer driving can be warm. It’s handy to keep some water bottles in your travel pack to stay hydrated.
Some items can’t handle the heat. Put insect deterrents and temperature-sensitive medications like Epi-Pens in a grab-and-go bag to bring with you.
8. Confirm Your Insurance
This spring, get your car ready for summer. You’ll enjoy summertime driving with the peace of mind preparation brings!
Confirm that your registration and insurance paperwork is current and present in your glovebox. Call us at Lake Region Insurance Agency for a free insurance review and quote. We want to be part of your pit crew preparing for summer driving!