This summer, make sure that your vehicle is ready to take on the heat and all of the extra stress that comes with it by taking a few simple steps to ensure that your engine and the rest of the components on your vehicle are all up to snuff. There are a few components that you should always check when performing your normal car maintenance service prior to the heat waves to come in the upcoming summer. They are the tires, the battery, the belts and fluids inside your engine and, of course, your A/C . The last thing you want is to get in your car on a hot day and find out that your air conditioner is on the fritz.

When the weather gets warm, there is a little extra stress put on your vehicle’s engine. That’s why it is important to make sure that you test a few key parts of your vehicle or take advantage of a professional car maintenance service in order to let the expert technicians at your nearest auto shop do the work for you. Either way make sure that you have all your bases covered and that you inspect all of the key components prior to the arrival of the hot weather.

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Summer is nearly here. Make sure that your car is ready for the hottest months of the year. (photo by ashoct28 via Flickr)

Starting with the tires, you will want to make sure you have adequate tread. This can be done easily with a quarter. Check to make sure that the treads at least cover the head of President Washington. Also, look for any irregular tread wear that could mean an alignment problem or some other issue. If you do find an issue with irregular tread, make sure to bring your car to the closest auto shop.

Under the hood, look at the belts to make sure that there are no visible signs of wear, such as cracking. The hot weather can really stress your serpentine belt in particular so make sure that there aren’t any issues there. Also, while you’re under the hood take some time to check the battery. You want to make sure that the terminals are free of any buildup and also do a battery test, which can usually be done at your nearest auto center for free.

Last, but definitely not least make sure that you give your A/C a once over.  You’ll want to inspect your radiator and the corresponding hoses for any obvious leaks. If you see any anti-freeze fluid (bright yellow or green) leaking out of your radiator that could signal an issue so make sure that you take your vehicle in for a proper car maintenance service at the closest auto shop if you find any issues.

Whether you take advantage of a professional car maintenance service or do it yourself, make sure that you take stock of any possible issues with your vehicle before the warmer months get here.