Summer Vehicle Maintenance Hot Buttons
So, it’s summertime . . . the kids are out of school, the days are getting longer, and it’s getting HOT, HOT, HOT! Believe or not the hot summer weather can do a number on your vehicle. There are 2 summer vehicle maintenance hot buttons that we wanted to make sure that you’re checking up on: your car battery and your cooling system. During the summer, it is best if these vehicle components are checked often. It takes very little time and money and definitely will save you from lots of frustration if you are able to prevent a breakdown.
Excessive heat and overcharging shorten the life of a battery. The heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, which will eventually destroy a battery.
To get the most life out of a battery, we recommend having the electrical system checked to make sure it is charging at the correct rate. Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt can become a conductor, which drains battery power. If corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, it becomes an insulator and inhibits the current flow.
Contrary to popular belief, more engines are destroyed from overheating than from any other cause—including oil and lubrication problems. This is because vehicle owners are accustomed to having the oil and filter changed on a regular basis, but rarely have the cooling system checked or serviced until there is a problem. The cooling system works harder during hot temperatures to prevent overheating of the engine, which is why it is important to have it checked regularly. To keep the cooling system working effectively, the coolant and distilled water mixture for a vehicle’s radiator should be 50:50.
As a rule of thumb, the coolant should be changed annually on most vehicles. This will keep the cooling system fresh and clean inside, which helps prevent corrosion and assures that the coolant has the proper boiling point and protection. A pressure test, thermostat test, a cooling fan test and a visual inspection for leaks and corrosion should also be done annually.
Stop by and visit us if you’d like us to check it out for you at 13401 Baltimore AVE Laurel, MD 20707 or call us with any questions (301) 419-2700.