Drive Smoothly Into Summer

Drive Smoothly Into Summer

Kansas summers are notoriously hot and 2024 looks to be one for the record books.  If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to get your vehicle in shape for hot weather travel. Take a moment to perform a few quick maintenance activities that will have you cruising the streets safely and comfortably all summer long.

Check Your Coolant

“Summer’s hot temperatures combined with low antifreeze/ coolant concentration levels in your vehicle may lead to an aggravating episode of engine failure. To prevent this, perform a cooling system inspection and, if necessary, a flush and fill,” advises Richard Courtney, director of Prestone Products Research & Development and Technical Services.

To perform a flush and fill, simply wait until the engine is cool, drain out old antifreeze/ coolant fluid and dispose of it properly. Flush out the system with water and fill with a fresh supply of antifreeze/coolant. Your local auto parts store can recommend the right Antifreeze/Coolant for your specific vehicle.

If you have recently performed a flush and fill, a top-off may be the only maintenance necessary for your cooling system. Top off with a pre-diluted formula that has the correct mix of antifreeze/coolant concentrate and water.

Not comfortable performing your own flush and fill?  Stop by or call 53 Auto Wichita at 316-867-2053 to schedule an appointment with our service team.

Check Your Battery

Summer is the season for major car battery problems.

Heat, not cold, shortens battery life, says the Car Care Council. The average life of a battery is three and a half years, and even shorter in warmer climates.

Excessive heat and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate. That’s slow death for a battery.

To get the most life out of a battery, the Car Care Council suggests the following:

* Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate; overcharging can damage a battery as easily as undercharging.

* If your battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it regularly, especially in hot weather. Add distilled water when necessary.

* Always replace a battery with one that’s rated at least as high as the one originally specified.

* Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. Further, as corrosion accumulates on battery terminals it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flow.

Clean and inspect the air conditioning system. 

A well-functioning air conditioning system is essential for a comfortable summer driving experience. Start by cleaning or replacing the cabin air filters to ensure proper airflow. Inspect the AC system for any leaks or issues. If you notice any problems, such as weak airflow or unusual noises, have it inspected by one of our qualified technicians.

Keep an eye on your tire pressure. 

High temperatures can cause tire pressure to increase, which can lead to blowouts or reduced fuel efficiency. Regularly check your tire pressure and maintain the recommended levels as per your vehicle’s specifications.

Change Your Washer Fluid

Once your cooling system is protected, you’ll be on the road in no time. But don’t forget to keep your windshield clear with a summer-specific windshield washer fluid designed to combat seasonal grime.  The summer blend fluid removes bug residue, road grime, bird droppings and tree sap from windshields and leaves behind a streak-free shine for optimal visibility.  (Come fall you will want to switch windshield washer fluid to one designed for de-icing and winter driving conditions).

Before you head out on a long summer road trip, let the professional service techs at 53 Auto Wichita get your vehicle ready.  We are open 6 days a week and are ready to provide full service auto repair and maintenance.  Give us a call at 316-857-2053.  We look forward to seeing you!