How Can I Prepare My Vehicle for Summer Driving?

summer driving

Summer brings better weather to our area, which means you may have plans to be out on the road more. Whether you are traveling nearby or heading out across the country, your vehicle should be in good working condition. Otherwise, you risk possible injury to yourself or to others from a car accident.

Especially after working hard through a long, cold winter, your car will need some attention. Here are some top tips to help you prepare your car for summer driving.

Check Your Fluid Levels

You probably have not changed your oil recently. If you do this yourself, now is a great time and, if you do not, take your car to a quick oil change place or mechanic and have it done. You should at least check your oil and top it off if it is low.

Also check your windshield wiper fluid and coolant levels. However, never check your coolant right after you have driven your car, as the fluid is extremely hot and can quickly burn you. Let your car sit, then check your fluid levels and top them off if they are low.

Check Your Brakes

If you have heard squeaking noises while braking recently, it is a good idea to take your car to a mechanic. There could be something seriously wrong with your brake system, and you need to have it working well.

Even if you have not noticed any problems with braking, it is still a good idea to get your brakes checked. If you are at all handy, this is something you can do yourself. If not, let your mechanic handle this issue.

Check Your Tires

Your tires are essential to keeping you safe on the road. Make sure you have them filled up to the right pressure. Too much or too little pressure means you risk a blowout or irregular tire wear, leading to you needing to replace them sooner.

You also need to check the treads on your tires. If you cannot tell by looking at them if they need to be replaced, try the penny trick. Turn a penny upside down and put it into a tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tire treads are worn too far, and you need to replace them.

Replace the Windshield Wiper Blades

Windshield wiper blades are not expensive, and they are easy to replace yourself. Although you may not think it is necessary to replace your wiper blades, they are crucial to ensuring you can see clearly during summer rainstorms.

You may not know you need to replace them until the rain hits. Therefore, it is much better to simply replace them at the start of summer and you do not have to worry about them again until next year. Some motorists change the blades for the winter season as well.

Check Your Lights

Car lights go out after some time. If your car has not been checked by a mechanic recently, you may not know if your lights are working properly. It is vital that you check them to get ready for summer. Even though it stays lighter out during the summer months, you will probably be out in a rainstorm or late at night and need them to see and for other cars to see you.

Make sure you check both your low beam and your high beam headlights. There are many situations when you will need your high beams, so make sure they are working as well.

Check the Vehicle for Rust

Not only does rust look bad on your car, but also it can be a sign of greater damage. Regularly check your car for rust, especially after the winter months when you have probably driven through lots of corrosive salt.

If you spot lots of rust on your car, get it inspected. It could be a sign of more serious problems, and you will need an expert to review the rust and diagnose any additional issues.

Check the Air Conditioning System

You probably have not used your car air conditioner in many months. During that time, it could have broken down and be in need of repair. You may not know it needs repair until that first hot summer day when it is too late.

Even when it is still cold outside, turn on the air conditioner. Make sure it gets cold and stays cold. The last thing you want is to get stranded somewhere and not be able to stay cool.

Check for Recalls

This is something that a manufacturer should send you a notice about, but you may have inadvertently disposed of the recall warning. You can check for recalls related to your vehicle online.

Check for manufacturer recalls but also parts recalls. If you find any, you can take your car to a dealer, and the work should be done at no cost to you.

Check Your Car Battery

Cold weather can wreak havoc on your car battery. Batteries often seem to stop working at the worst times, so having your battery checked is crucial to ensuring that your car starts when you need it.

You can check your car battery at home with a small kit, or you can take it to your mechanic. Many newer cars will also give you a warning indicator light when the car battery voltage drops too low, indicating that the battery may be dying or there is something else wrong. Many car batteries need replacement after three years.

Change Out Your Safety Equipment for Summer Travel

During winter, you should keep extra blankets and warm clothing in your car in case you get stranded somewhere. For summer, you need to swap out some of these items.

You should keep blankets in case it gets cool, but you should also add a battery-operated fan or two. Also check on the batteries and flashlights you have stored in your emergency kit. You do not want those going bad, so replace them if necessary. It is a good idea to have extra batteries on hand.

Watch Your Vehicle’s Indicator Lights

Even older cars have warning indicator lights. Newer cars have many more warning lights and may even tell you exactly what is wrong. For example, newer cars can show you the exact tire pressure in each tire and, if a tire pressure drops too low, can tell you which tire needs more air and how much.

Older vehicles require a little more investigation. In older model vehicles, you may get a warning indicator light showing you that your car’s tire pressure is too low. However, it does not tell you which tire needs air and how much air is needed. Although this is frustrating, it just requires that you spend a little more time checking the air in each tire. It is also crucial that you check the warning indicator lights to ensure they are working correctly. 

Take Your Car to a Mechanic

Ultimately, the best idea is to simply take your car to your mechanic for a full check. Your mechanic can get to areas you cannot and can diagnose problems you may not even know exist.

Although car maintenance can be expensive, it is less expensive than getting into an accident and having to shoulder the financial burden of additional car repair costs and medical bills. When you keep your vehicle in good working condition, you are taking proactive steps to keep yourself and others safe during summer travel. 

Baltimore Car Wreck Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Want You to Be Safe on the Roads this Summer

Even when you take all the necessary precautions, you could still find yourself in an accident this summer. When your accident was caused by someone else, you may be able to seek compensation from them for your car damage and your injuries. Reach out to the Baltimore car wreck lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton to learn your options. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel CountyCarroll CountyHarford CountyHoward CountyMontgomery CountyPrince George’s CountyQueen Anne’s CountyMaryland’s Western CountiesSouthern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of CatonsvilleEssexHalethorpeMiddle RiverRosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, ParkvilleNottinghamWindsor MillLuthervilleTimoniumSparrows PointRidgewood, and Elkridge.