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Hite Digital Norman

(29 reviews)

513 SW 156th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73170
(405) 701-9245

It’s SUMMERTIME!!! That means BBQ’s, pool parties, and, for many of us, road trips! Before jumping on I-35, ensure your vehicle is ready to roll and avoid unexpected breakdowns to keep your journey smooth and enjoyable. Here are the five most vital automotive repair and maintenance tips to help you prepare your car for summer travels. 

Check Your Tires

Properly maintained tires are crucial for safe driving, especially during long road trips. 

Tell-Tale Signs of Maintenance Needed:

  • Low Tire Pressure: If your tire pressure warning light is on or your tires look visibly underinflated, it’s time to check the pressure.
  • Uneven Tread Wear: Noticeable wear on one side of the tire or in patches can indicate misalignment or other issues.
  • Cracks or Bulges: Any visible damage to the tire sidewalls means the tires need immediate attention.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Tire Pressure: Ensure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended levels.
  • Tread Depth: Inspect the tread depth to ensure it meets safety standards. Place a penny in between two of the treads, Lincoln’s head in. If you can see his entire head, your tread is low!
  • Alignment and Rotation: Have your tires aligned and rotated regularly to promote even wear and extend their lifespan.

Inspect Your Brakes

Brakes are one of the most critical safety components of your vehicle. 

Tell-Tale Signs of Maintenance Needed:

  • Squealing or Grinding Noises: These sounds usually indicate that the brake pads are worn out and need replacing.
  • Vibration When Braking: If you feel a pulsation or vibration when applying the brakes, your rotors might be warped.
  • Longer Stopping Distances: If your car takes longer to stop than usual, it’s a clear sign that your brakes need checking.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Brake Pads and Rotors: Check the condition of your brake pads and rotors. Replace them if they are worn or damaged.
  • Brake Fluid: Ensure your brake fluid is at the appropriate level and free from contaminants. Consider having it flushed if it’s been a while since your last service.

Test Your Battery

Summer heat can be as harsh on your car battery as winter cold. 

Tell-Tale Signs of Maintenance Needed:

  • Slow Engine Crank: If your engine cranks more slowly than usual, it could be a sign of a weak battery. 
  • Dim Lights: If your interior or exterior lights seem dimmer than usual, it may indicate a battery issue. Battery Warning Light: If the battery warning light on your dashboard is illuminated, have your battery tested immediately.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Battery Charge: Test your battery’s charge and replace it if it’s weak. Most local auto parts stores will check your battery’s condition free of charge.
  • Connections: Clean any corrosion from the battery terminals and ensure all connections are secure.

Maintain the Engine Cooling System

Overheating is a common issue in the summer, especially during long drives. 

Tell-Tale Signs of Maintenance Needed:

  • Overheating Engine: If your temperature gauge consistently runs high, it’s a sign that your cooling system needs attention.
  • Coolant Leaks: Puddles of coolant under your car can indicate a leak.
  • Steam from the Hood: If you see steam coming from under the hood, pull over immediately and check your cooling system.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Coolant Levels: Check the coolant level and top it up if necessary. (NEVER open the radiator cap when the engine is hot!)  Make sure to use the correct type of coolant for your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for recommended coolant flush mileage.
  • Radiator and Hoses: Inspect the radiator and hoses for leaks, cracks, or signs of wear. Replace any damaged components to prevent overheating.

Air Conditioning Check

A functional air conditioning system is essential for comfort during summer road trips. 

Tell-Tale Signs of Maintenance Needed:

  • Weak Airflow: If the air coming out of your vents is weak, there may be a blockage or fan issue.
  • Not Cooling: If the air conditioning isn’t blowing cold air, the refrigerant levels might be low or there could be a system malfunction.
  • Unusual Noises: Strange noises when the AC is running can indicate problems with the compressor or other components.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Refrigerant Levels: Ensure the refrigerant levels are adequate. Low levels might indicate a leak that needs addressing. A/C systems operate under dangerously high pressure; if you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable, leave it to the pros!
  • System Functionality: Test the air conditioning system to ensure it blows cold air. If it’s not working correctly, have it serviced.

When it comes to automotive maintenance and repair, having a trusted professional can make all the difference. Our friends at Beneficial Automotive in Moore offer top-notch services to ensure your car is road-trip ready. Whether you need a quick inspection, routine maintenance, or extensive repairs, their skilled technicians provide reliable and efficient service. Check out their business profile HERE to learn more and book an appointment.

Preparing your vehicle for a summer road trip involves attention to detail and proactive maintenance. By following these tips and relying on professionals like Beneficial Automotive, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable journey, leaving you free to focus on the adventure ahead.

Joseph Singleton Headshot

Joseph Singleton is a contributing author and online editor for Whirlocal South OKC, Moore, and Norman, as well as the Ops Guru at HITE.

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