5 Tips for keeping you and your CAR cool!

Remember, proper car care and maintenance might not only prevent a breakdown, but could mean the difference between a minor repair and a major one.  Be proactive
THE HEAT IS ON!  You know what that means. Air Conditioning, belts, overheating and a vehicle that will be working harder than ever. Summer tests the ability of your vehicles cooling system, battery and charging system, plus it uses more of that expensive fuel while you crank the AC…can you believe its at $4 a gallon?! Now is the time to have all of these things checked to prevent a failure or overheating situation…BEFORE its too late.
I work with a great, independent, group of repair shops in the Valley who are high-quality, customer and community driven!
BRUTAL! For most of us living in Arizona, this word comes to mind quite easily when thinking of our summer heat.  If you think our summer heat wears you down, think about what it must be doing to your vehicle!  Here are 5 tips for keeping the drain that our excessive heat places on many of the components of your vehicle to a minimal.   Remember, proper car care and maintenance might not only prevent a breakdown, but could mean the difference between a minor repair and a major one. 
Be proactive! 

Tip #1 

HAVE YOUR BELTS & HOSES INSPECTED.  Have all the engine accessory belts inspected.  Today, many cars are equipped with a serpentine belt that runs all of the accessories, so if that belt breaks, you can lose your power steering, water pump and charging system immediately.  A good shop will check for any visible damage, abnormal wear or small hairline cracks.  You should replace any belt that shows signs of wear.  Even if a belt appears to be in good condition, it should be replaced every 50,000 miles as preventative maintenance. 

Like belts, radiator & heater hoses are also made of rubber.  Having all hoses inspected periodically for wear, including hairline cracks and soft, bulging spots, might prevent an impending rupture from occurring.  Replacing a few hoses is certainly more palatable to most, than the worst case scenario…. Being told that your engine has seized, and you car will need a new engine! 

Tip #2 

HAVE YOUR AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM CHECKED.  In reality, you should have you’re A/C System checked BEFORE it gets hot!  Because of the high usage during the hot summer months, this is the time it will be likely to fail. So, if you haven’t had it checked yet, do so now!  An a/c service will test your vehicle’s system pressures, clean the condensor, visually and electronically inspect hoses, fittings and seals for leaks, check cooling fan operation, check output temperature, and adjust belt if needed.  Freon will be added if needed.     

Tip #3

HAVE YOUR TIRES CHECKED.  An under-inflated tire not only reduces the life of your tire, but can cause your car’s gas mileage to plummet by as much as 15%! 

An inspection will also tell you how much tread life you have on your tire, as well as alert you to any uneven tire wear, which could indicate an alignment problem.  An inspection can also alert you to any visible damage to your tires, which can worsen under intense heat. 

Tip #4

HAVE YOUR WIPER BLADES/WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID CHECKED.  Once again, in our extreme Arizona summer heat conditions, any rubber on your vehicle can become brittle and crack.  Replace those worn out & cracked wiper blades BEFORE you need them during our Monsoon!  A dirty, streaky or smeared windshield can be a hazard….  So, make sure that the washer fluid is checked and replenished also.

Tip #5 

HAVE YOUR OIL CHANGED REGULARLY!!  I must emphasize the importance of this last tip.  While this very well may be the least costly of all the routine maintenance services on your vehicle, its’ importance is #1.  Most manufacturers require the oil to be changed every 3,000-5,000 miles.  Because of the harsh desert heat conditions in Arizona, we recommend every 3,000.  Most good shops will perform a free bumper-to-bumper safety inspection on your vehicle while doing the Lube, Oil, & Filter Service.  A safety inspection can consist of everything from checking your fluid levels, conditions of your belts & hoses, brakes, tires, battery & cables, shocks, wiper a washer operations, light operations, air cleaner, water pump, radiator, etc., etc. 

The bottom line is this…. Preventative maintenance is the most important term you should familiarize yourself with in owning a vehicle!  Happy Motoring!