Summer Car Care Maintenance
The temperatures are rising outside and, as this happens, the heat can begin to take a toll on your vehicle and possibly leave you stranded on the side of the road. Here are five tips that can prevent you from becoming stranded.
- Keep your engine cool. Cooling systems protect engines from overheating and should be flushed periodically, as recommended by the manufacturer. Between flushes, make sure the coolant is filled to the proper level by checking the overflow reservoir. If necessary, top off the reservoir with a 50/50 mix of water and the coolant type specified by Ford. CAUTION! Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot- boiling coolant under pressure can cause serious burns. Rubber cooling system components are susceptible to heat-related deterioration, so bring your vehicle into the Columbine Ford service center so that the hoses and drive belts can be inspected for cracking, soft spots or other signs of poor condition.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. Driving on under-inflated tires can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout, especially when road temperatures increase. Check your tire pressure at least once a month, tires lose about one pound of pressure per month through normal seepage. For the most accurate reading, check tire pressure when the tires are cool. Always follow inflation recommendations found in your vehicle’s owner manual.
- Make sure fluids are at appropriate levels. Most engine fluids lubricate and serve as coolants by helping carry heat away from critical components. When fluid levels are low, the cooling effect is reduced which increases the possibility of your Ford overheating. Periodically check all vehicle fluids, including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid.
- Maintain the air-conditioner. During extreme summer heat an air conditioning system can be more than just a convenience. It can reduce driver fatigue, which plays an important part in driver alertness and vehicle safety. If your car’s air conditioning is not maintaining the interior temperature like it once did, bring in your vehicle so that the refrigerant levels can be checked and repaired if necessary.
- Be prepared for an emergency. Even with preventive maintenance summer breakdowns do occur and Columbine Ford recommends that drivers keep a well-stocked emergency kit in their cars. Your emergency kit should include water, non-perishable food, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares, basic hand tools and a first aid kit.
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