Is your ride suffering from neglect? If you’re looking to get the most out of one of your biggest investments it’s time to start paying attention to more than how shiny the bumpers are. Here are five things you should take the time to take a closer look at before setting out on your next road adventure:
1. Tires: We tend to think of tire maintenance as a winter issue when switching from all seasons to snow tires is the big concern, but the fact is summer heat can impact their effectiveness as well. Warm weather can put additional stress on your car’s tires. The best way to make sure they aren’t wilting under pressure is to check them monthly and have them rotated regularly if the manufacturer recommends it. Learn the recommended air pressure for your car’s tires and then check them when the tires are cold. Proper tire pressure may help you avoid a blowout and may improve your fuel economy. Want to learn a bit more about tire pressure?
2. Fluid Maintenance: Just like the summer weather can mean we find ourselves drinking more liquids, your car can suffer from “dehydration” if the fluids it needs to perform effectively aren’t maintained. If you’re comfortable with it you can check things like windshield washer fluid levels, oil levels and coolant levels on your own or get a professional to do it for you. Engine coolant – one of the most important ones to check – may be something you need to see a professional for. Either way, keeping on top of the levels will improve the efficiency of your vehicle. Windshield Wipers: They are an integral part of your car’s system and yet, chances are you won’t even realize there’s a problem until you need to use them. Worn wipers that aren’t performing effectively are a hazard. Being caught in an unexpected storm without the right tools could be very dangerous. On a dry day test your windshield wipers and take a good look at the window. Is it clearing effectively? Remember to check out rear wipers too. If they are dragging or failing to clear the liquid, replace them.
3. Interior carpeting: In the winter months we like to think that the floor mats we lay down are protecting our flooring. They are helping but that doesn’t mean that snow, slush, grime and salt aren’t also seeping underneath and around them. When the warm weather hits, take the time to remove the mats to see what damage may be occurring underneath. Take the time to clean underneath the mats with an eye on removing the damage of the season before. Get the salt out before it starts damaging the carpeting.
4. Your trunk space: The easiest thing to do, it seems, is “throw it in the trunk.” From your kids’ sports equipment to the power tools you borrowed from a friend to the winter safety tools you keep back there – it all manages to find its way into the trunk and stay there forever. That’s a mistake. The heavier your car is the more gas you’ll need to get where you’re going; not to mention it can result in an unnecessary load on your tires. Take the time to clear out the trunk and remove the items you don’t need. Start by completely emptying the trunk and vacuuming it out. Put back in the essentials, like a good emergency kit. To keep it clean, make a habit of clearing the trunk out after every trip.
Fall is just around the corner, stay safe and drive wise!