Get your car road-ready for summer with a spring-time car maintenance tune-up. Walmart speaks with an expert who shares helpful tips and ideas on how to get your car prepared for the summer heat.
Automotive expert Daniel Fletcher offers his best car maintenance tips and advice to help you get your car in tip-top shape for summer.
Daniel Fletcher is a Retail Integration Manager with Walmart Canada Automotive. A former Automotive Service Manager, Fletcher has 25-plus years’ experience in automotive services.
Spring is the ideal time to get your vehicle ready for the summer heat. From switching out your tires to giving your ride a deep clean, you’ll want to start going through your car maintenance must-do list to ready your ride for the hottest season of the year. Not sure where to start? Walmart’s got expert tips and advice on what you need to do to prepare your vehicle for the heat of summer.
Prepping Your Vehicle for the Summer Heat:
- Top up fluids
- Check the battery
- Update parts
- Swap tires
- Monitor brakes
- Test A/C
- Tackle detailing
- Safety tips
Top up fluids
According to Fletcher, getting an oil change is a great way to start preparing your vehicle for the heat of the summer. While you’re at it, he suggests having your other car fluids checked and topped up (as required) to keep your ride in peak condition.
After fuel, engine oil is the most important fluid in your car, states Your Mechanic. You’ll be out-of-pocket a lot more than the cost of an oil change if you ignore this maintenance step.
Check the battery
According to Fletcher, while we worry most about having our car battery fail in the worst days of winter, it’s more likely to happen in summer.
He suggests visiting an automotive centre (Walmart has them, too) to get your battery checked as a safety measure to ensure it’s in good condition for summer.
“Windshield wiper blades should be replaced every six months,” says Fletcher. “So spring is a good time to do this.”
It’s a good idea to use heavy-duty winter wiper blades during the harsh winter months. You should swap them out for an all-season set of wiper blades for the rest of the year.
Don’t forget about air filters! “Air filters should be checked regularly,” he says. They may not always need to be replaced, but they should be checked nonetheless.
Your vehicle’s air filters will get plugged up over time if left unattended. Once this occurs, your car engine will no longer run efficiently—it will start to be overworked. When this happens, your car will lose power and run roughly, states Car Talk. Ignoring simple air filter changes can lead to costly repairs.
Spring is the time to swap out winter tires. “When the temperature hits above seven-degrees Celsius, tires wear out more quickly and don’t perform as well,” says Fletcher. “Summer tires should be in good condition, with proper tire air pressure and good tread depth,” he continues.
Fletcher recommends storing winter tires in a clean, dry space, away from UV rays and in an upright position.
“Hot weather can increase the temperature of your brake system, causing your pads to wear more quickly,” explains Fletcher. “Refer to your owner’s manual, and keep tabs on the condition of your brakes.”
He recommends having a mechanic or licensed shop check your brakes at regular intervals.
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The last thing you want on a hot summer’s day is to find yourself stranded without air conditioning, especially if you’re on a road trip with kids and pets. Testing your vehicle’s A/C unit can be as simple as turning on the A/C to check for cool air, says Fletcher. If you have concerns, bring your vehicle in to see a licensed mechanic.
Vehicles take a beating during the winter months. According to Fletcher, as we head into a warmer season, it is critical to properly clean your vehicle—and not just for aesthetic reasons.
Vehicle carpets should be professionally cleaned to remove salt stains. The rest of the interior can be cleaned at home—provided you use cleaners that are formulated to clean car interiors and exteriors. Damage may occur if you use regular household cleaners to clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle.
“It’s really important your car gets cleaned top to bottom, inside and out, every spring,” stresses Fletcher. “You have salt and weather and grime attacking your car during the winter months. This onslaught can lead to rust issues and damage to the interior down the road.”
Once you’ve prepped your vehicle for the summer heat, it’s a good idea to keep the following safety tips in mind as the season progresses so you and those you’re riding with can enjoy safe, stress-free rides.
Check tire pressure: “Low tire pressure can become a safety hazard,” informs Fletcher. “So be sure to check your tire pressure every 30 days or so.”
Keep an emergency kit: “It’s a good idea to keep an emergency kit in the car,” says Fletcher. “It never seems important, until you need it.”
Run it by the pros: According to Fletcher, brakes and tires should be handled by professionals—as should leaks. “If you think you might have a leak, see a licenced technician immediately and have it taken care of,” he advises. “It could be an indication that something is wrong.”
Staying on top of proper car maintenance will help your vehicle live a longer life—and help keep repair costs down over the long term. You’ll also experience a more enjoyable ride if you prepare your vehicle for the summer heat. Walmart has auto service centres at various locations across Canada that can help you get the job done right.
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