Summertime means sun tans, ice cream, beach days and road trips. It’s no secret that the sunshine and warmer temperatures make great driving-with-the-windows-down weather and more people hit the asphalt in search of a summer adventure. But before you jump in to the summer rush full force, walk through this checklist with your vehicle to make sure both you and your ride get to your destination safe and happy:

  1. Tire Time – You don’t still have your winter tires on, do you? If you do, it’s time to swap those out for your summer tires. Make sure your tires are inflated to the proper PSI and that the tread depth is sufficient. Don’t forget to inspect your spare tire, too.
  2. Coolant Level – Hot temps can be harsh on your engine. It is critical that your coolant level is sufficient so that your engine doesn’t overheat. When your engine is hot, your coolant should be at or just below the max/full/hot line of the overflow reservoir. When your engine is cold, your coolant should be at or above the minimum/fill/cold line.
  3. A/C Test – It’s likely been months since you’ve run your air conditioning, so just because it worked fine last time you used it doesn’t mean it’s still fine. Before venturing off into the sunset, run your A/C to make sure it doesn’t give off any smells and that it’s properly cooling your vehicle. If there are any issues, it’s time to have it looked at by a certified mechanic.
  4. See Cleary – Whether it’s a summer thunderstorm bringing heavy rain or a dry day leaving a layer of dust and pollen, you will want to be prepared so that you can see well and drive safely. So check your windshield wiper blades to make sure they are doing a good job and check that your windshield wiper fluid is full.
  5. Brake Check – When is the last time your brakes were inspected or replaced? Pads, rotors, calipers, lines…there are many critical components to a safe braking system. If you see rust, hear squeaking, smell burning or feel a soft pedal it’s time to get it to the shop.

Here’s to safe road trips, car shows, Sunday cruises and staying cool all summer long!