*Updated June 2018

The dog days of summer don’t just leave you overheated and exhausted, they take a toll on your vehicle.

Did you know?

  • Summer heat drains your battery faster than the cold of winter. Excessive heat and overcharging are the two primary causes of premature battery failure
  • Exposure to prolonged sunshine can fade your car’s paint
  • Extremely hot days tax the air conditioning and cooling system of your vehicle
  • Lubricating oil can break down under extreme heat conditions

The Car Care Council recommends these routine maintenance practices to keep your vehicle operating under hot summer conditions:

  • Periodically check and test batteries for proper charging
  • Make sure your cooling system has the proper anti-freeze/coolant and all belts, hoses and the water pump are properly working (never open a hot radiator cap; the liquid inside is a scalding 200 degrees or hotter)
  • Check the air conditioning system for leaks and proper coolant
  • Make sure the viscosity of your motor oil will stand up to hot weather days (10W-30 or 10W-40)

If you are planning to hit the road for a long trip you should also:

  • Check the tires for tread and proper inflation
  • Make sure the spare tire is inflated and there is a jack and tire changing tools
  • Test your windshield wipers and change them if they are streaking

Consumer Reports advises that you should also have a basic safety kit that consists of:

  • Cell phone and spare battery
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Warning light or reflective triangles
  • Tire gauge
  • Jumper cables
  • Foam sealant for flat tires

Things you should know how to do in case you have a roadside emergency:

You also need the proper insurance to protect your vehicle and those riding with you. Call a California Casualty advisor today for a policy review and comparison, 1.800.800.9410 or visit www.calcas.com.

Sources for this article:

http://www.carcare.org/2014/06/dream-vacation-or-nightmare-road-trip-pre-trip-vehicle-check-can-make-the-difference/

http://www.carcare.org/2014/06/four-symptoms-of-a-sick-cooling-system/

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/03/roadside-emergency-kit-what-to-carry-with-you/index.htm

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