Summertime if finally here, and while COVID-19 has certainly put a damper on the fun, it has left you with a lot of free time. And, what better way to use that free time than to clean out your car and get it ready for summer?
Getting your vehicle ready for summer entails much more than cleaning it of trash and forgotten items. To ensure it performs optimally for you all season long, perform the following maintenance chores.
Check You’re AC
We don’t need to tell you twice that Albuquerque summers get hot. Unlike in other parts of the country, where you can maybe get away with windows down during the summer, you want a working AC in your vehicle. If your AC works only marginally well, it will fail during extremely hot weather. Riding around without AC is not only uncomfortable, but it’s dangerous. Test your AC to make sure it works properly before summer is in full-swing. If you hear strange sounds, or if the cool air doesn’t get all that cool, take your car in for a tune up.
Check Your Tires
Have your tires rotated every 5,000 miles or so to ensure even wear. Check tire pressure once a month to make sure they’re full. This can not only protect you from blowouts but also, it can improve your gas mileage. Examine the treads on your tires and check for cuts and nicks in the sidewall. Your tires dictate your car’s performance, so you want to ensure they’re in good condition before taking your vehicle out into the high New Mexico heat.
Listen to Your Brakes
Your brakes are a vital safety feature, which should be reason enough to ensure they’re in good working order. However, if you prioritize cost, know that repairing failing brakes can quickly become expensive. If you want to save yourself upwards of $1,000 for a complete brake repair, take your vehicle for a test drive. Turn down the music and listen for telltale signs of brake failure. Those include squeaking, grinding and a whirring noise. Pay attention to how it feels for you to brake. Do you notice pulsing when you press the pedal, or is your stopping distance longer than usual? If you notice any issues, take your vehicle into a repair shop immediately.
Pop Open the Hood
Not many vehicle owners want to pop up the hood during the colder months to check things like oil levels and battery health, which is understandable. However, when the temperatures start to rise, open the hood and perform those maintenance tasks you’ve been putting off. Get an oil change, top off the coolant and brake fluids and check your battery. Clean your battery of any corrosion with baking soda and a toothbrush. If you notice corrosion again in a couple of weeks, it may be a sign of a more serious issue.
Pack for Emergencies
We cannot stress this enough —New Mexico gets hot during the summer. As in, dangerously hot. If you get stranded on the side of the road for any reason, you want to be sure that you have all the necessary supplies to stay safe from the hot sun and scorching heat. Your emergency kit should include water, sunscreen and an umbrella in addition to a first-aid kit, tools to make basic repairs, flares and a flashlight.
Give Your Vehicle Some TLC
Finally, wash and wax your vehicle to get rid of any marks and debris from puddles, rain storms and other adverse weather. Wax your car to make it look nice and shiny, and, finally, clear out the clutter. After you do this, your vehicle is officially ready for summer!