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Since summer is almost in full swing here's ten tips to get your car ready for summer. There's more you can do but these ten tips are more than enough to insure you have a worry free summer.


1. Have the A/C Serviced - Depending on where you live, chances are you haven't used your air-conditioning system much since last summer. Over time, the A/C can slowly leak refrigerant, causing the compressor to operate for longer periods than usual and put added strain on your engine. If your A/C doesn't feel as cool as it once did, it will pay to have it checked out by a qualified mechanic. A reputable shop can pressure-test the system and properly diagnose any issues before the first heat wave hits.


2. Replace Coolant - When most of us think of maintenance, we think of changing the oil and rotating the tires. However, keeping fresh antifreeze in the coolant system is just as important. If you can't remember the last time your coolant was replaced, it's probably time for a system flush and fill. Old coolant can develop a slight electric charge that can cause premature corrosion inside your engine and radiator. If left unchecked, that can lead to leaks, and it won't be long before you're stuck on the side of the road with an expensive repair bill.


3. Check the Battery - On average, a battery will last anywhere from two to three years depending on build quality. If the battery in your car is older than that, it's only a matter of time before it leaves you stranded. As a battery ages, it keeps less and less of a charge, causing the alternator to work harder. If your battery is still fairly new, take the time to give it a close look. Check for any corrosion or leaks, and clean up anything you see. Few things are more corrosive or bad for the environment than a leaking battery, so if you see a problem be sure to have a qualified shop examine and /or replace it, as well as dispose of the old one properly.


4. Give Tires a Once-Over - As road temperatures increase, so will the pressure in your tires. Take the time to give them a close inspection. Look for any dry rot, large bumps in the sidewalls or uneven wear — these indicate a serious problem. Once things get warm, any small problem can develop into a flat in a hurry. That can put you, your passengers and those on the road around you in a dangerous situation. It may hurt to spend the money on a new tire now, but it's better than having to pay the body shop (or hospital) for damage sustained after a blowout on the highway.


5. Replace Windshield Wipers - In many parts of the country, summer means heavy thunderstorms. Most experts recommend replacing your windshield wipers every six months, regardless of how they look. Windshield wipers experience the absolute worst that the elements can throw at them — including plenty of exposure to ultraviolet rays. Those rays degrade rubber quickly, making your wipers worthless. Considering how inexpensive quality replacement blades can be, it makes sense to go ahead and make the swap before the weather turns sour.



6. Examine All Hoses - Your vehicle is likely going to be exposed to some pretty severe heat as the weather warms up, and that means the coolant system will be under increased pressure to keep everything the right temperature. Take the time to look over the hoses in the engine bay. There shouldn't be any cracks, cuts or odd bulges. If there are, it won't be long before that particular hose gives up for good. If you see a problem now, have it fixed quickly and save yourself from frustration on the side of the road.



7. Eyeball All Belts - Large fluctuations in temperature can wreak havoc on old or worn belts. As things warm up under your hood, an old belt can easily begin to slip on the pulleys. That may mean that things like your air conditioning, power steering or charging system won't be operating as efficiently as they should be. Be sure to check for any visible cracks or fraying. You can also test belt tension by pressing down on a suspended section of the belt with the engine off. If the belt moves more than a quarter-inch, it's time for a replacement.



8. Make Sure Fog Lights Work - Warmer temperatures in the morning mean a greater likelihood of running into fog on your commute, and since it's probably been a long time since you've used your fog lights, now is a good time to check the bulbs. Turn on your headlights and press the fog-light button. The light should shine evenly down the road in front of the vehicle, not off to one side and not very far ahead. Remember that fog lights operate only when using your low beams, and that they turn off while using high beams.



9. Replace All Fluids - Changing your oil is easy. But few people think about transmission, power-steering or brake fluids until there is a serious problem. Everything should be at the proper level and the appropriate color. Your oil should be a honey-brown to brown color, while the transmission and power-steering fluid should be bright red. Your brake fluid should be clear to yellow. If anything looks dark or burnt, have it flushed and replaced right away.


10. Wash, Polish and Wax - Summer sun and heat are particularly harsh on your car's paint. Sweltering temperatures, road grime and intensive ultraviolet rays combine to do a number on metal and paint. While a good car wash is a solid place to start, most experts recommend a good polishing four times a year to clear contaminants and reduce the chance of oxidation. Follow the polish with a high-quality automotive wax to help seal any microscopic cracks in the paint and protect the finish from the summer heat. Doing so does more than simply make your vehicle look as good as new; it can help keep the paint in tip-top shape in case you ever decide to sell the vehicle.


Now have a safe and fun summer. I'll try to make one for winter as well when the season come closer.
 

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Thanks for the checklist! I am nowhere near ready right now, detailing and toping up all my fluids are the priority this week for my car.
 

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Agreed. Funny hearing that from someone who doesn't deal with snow. :rolleyes:

I have a little list myself. I am not an authority on this and these are my opinions, so feel free to disagree or add your own.

Have some sort of roadside service. Be careful if your roadside service is with your car insurance company though. Previously some companies reported any roadside assistance as a "CLAIM". Won't mean much as long as you stay with them, but if you are shopping around other companies may see a "CLAIM" was made and raise your rate due to it.

I know where I live it is mandatory to wash your car at least once a week just to get the salt off. I prefer to take my car to a car wash at least once a month for an Underbody or Undercarriage wash. I can't necessarily get to everything under there with a hose in my garage.

Must make sure that you have a snow brush, road flares, a blanket, and flash light.

I also pick up a few instant hand warming packs from Home Depot, Kmart or wherever. Gloves are great and all, but nothing beats a hot pack.

Always check your wipers and washer fluid before the big snow. Bad streaks, gaps across the windshield and racks in the rubber of your blade or refill, normally mean it's time for a change. I prefer RainX, Prestone or similar washer fluid as opposed to the cheap blue stuff. The more expensive ones normally have the ability to melt the ice off as well as clean the windshield.

Lube your locks and latches (don't forget the gas door). Latches are much less likely to freeze up if they are lubed up.

Got snow tires? Use them!

Don't be lazy, brush your stinkin' car before you drive off. I hate having a pile of snow splash on my windshield, blinding me, because Mr. or Mrs. Lazy butt in front of me on the highway couldn't take 30 secs to brush the snow off their car. Show some courtesy for others on the road.

Most of all, allow more time in inclimate weather. Be smart and don't think that AWD makes you invincible. :eek:

Those are my two cents. Good luck this winter to all of my Juke friends who deal with Snow, Ice and the other winter elements.
;)

we need a winter list now!
 

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lol, my list, winter or summer is: if you're going on a trip, take extra water, food and blankets. You never know when you'll be stranded in the desert around here!
 

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lol, my list, winter or summer is: if you're going on a trip, take extra water, food and blankets. You never know when you'll be stranded in the desert around here!
Be sure to watch all the survival shows on the Discovery Channel.

Then you'll be able to boil a rattle snake in the water you squeezed from a cactus. :eek:
 

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I'd take my shotgun, too . . . if I had one!

We have snow here; usually at least once or twice a winter. Nothing like I used to have living in Park City, Utah, though! BTW, it's 78 degrees here today and FAR too nice to be inside working!
 

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I actually pack a 9mm, the car is too small to clutter up with a big old shotgun. :D

I'd take my shotgun, too . . . if I had one!

We have snow here; usually at least once or twice a winter. Nothing like I used to have living in Park City, Utah, though! BTW, it's 78 degrees here today and FAR too nice to be inside working!
 

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haha,

funny a winter and summer list :)

with me there is no diffrence, just always make sure there is enough oil and coolant fluid, also make sure the tires are okay.
 
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