Summertime Maintenance Checklist

Car side view mirror reflects a person holding their hand out the window.

While many people think of Minnesota as a year-round snowy wasteland, our average mid-80 summer temperatures say otherwise. As you prepare yourself for another sweltering season of lake days, golfing, and road trips, make sure you’re prioritizing car maintenance.

People tend to drive more in the summer, which can put stress on their vehicles—especially with high temperatures. Did you know that the summer heat is worse for your car’s battery than the cold winter weather? Hot roads can also contribute to tire wear, and engines have a higher risk of overheating when the air is so warm.

There’s nothing worse than setting off to the beach and finding the trip stalled by car problems. Advanced Repair has your summer car maintenance checklist, so you can drive on, worry-free.


Check Your Coolant Levels and Air Conditioning


While it may not be the most serious car problem, driving without air conditioning in the summer is uncomfortable, to say the least. Take a test drive and ensure the AC is working. Try it on all levels, and make sure there’s air coming out of all the vents, especially before long road trips.

Coolant helps keep your engine from overheating. With low levels, your engine may seize up at an inopportune time. To check your coolant, look at the reservoir and make sure the level reaches the proper marking line. Always do this after the engine has had time to cool down. In addition, check the quality of your coolant—if it looks sludgy or rusty-looking, it may be time for a coolant flush.


Test Your Battery


As mentioned, the warm air of summer can be hard on your vehicle’s battery. Experts generally suggest replacing your battery every three years. If you’re not sure how old your battery is, consider visiting a mechanic to get it tested, and keep an eye out for the warning signs of a failing battery:

  • Slow startup
  • Backfiring
  • Clicking noise when you turn the key
  • Dim headlights
  • Visible battery corrosion


Change Your Oil


Especially with how warm your engine will get in the summer, it’s essential to have enough oil to help it function properly. The lower the oil levels, the tougher driving is on your engine.

Your vehicle’s oil should be changed every 3,000 miles or every 3–6 months, depending on how often and how far your drive. Changing your oil is a relatively easy DIY car maintenance task; otherwise, you can save time and hassle by working with a professional.

Advanced Repair is a family-owned NAPA Certified AutoCare Center located in St. Cloud Minnesota. For superior car service this summer, stop in to learn how we can help you get back on the road.

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