The long winter is over and the nice weather is finally here to stay. However, your car needs to prepare for this weather change too. Make sure to look over these summer maintenance tips for your car before hitting the road. These will help you stay safe and be prepared for anything that might happen. You can learn more at Kiplinger.
1. Kick the tires. And then get out the tire-pressure gauge and check that your tires are inflated to the level recommended in your owner’s manual. Summer heat increases the pressure in tires, so test the pressure before driving far. Don’t forget to check your spare as well.
2. Check the essentials. Check the oil after running the car for a few minutes. It should be at a sufficient level and appear clean on the stick. Though many technicians recommend an oil change every 3,000 miles, some manuals recommend 7,500 miles-check your owner’s manual for guidance.
3. Make a service stop. We’ll leave it to your mechanic to tell you what needs to be done, but a quick tuneup before a long trip is a good idea — especially because it could improve your fuel economy by 4% to 12%. Prices for a basic tuneup start at around $70 at Meineke and Midas, and both have coupons available on their Web sites.
4. Ditch the junk in your trunk. No hip-hop reference here — just clean out your car. The more you haul, the more fuel you burn. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your mpg by up to 2%.
5. Prepare for the worst. You should keep an emergency kit with some necessities in your car in case you get stuck. The AAA 73 Piece Adventurer Road Assistance Kit ($55,www.amazon.com) includes jumper cables, an air compressor, tools and a first-aid kit. Black & Decker’s Start It Jump-Starter ($50, www.bdonlinestore.com) can help you get back on the road without jumper cables.