When the seasons change, we swap out our down coats and winter boots for shorts and sandals. Our bags will be supplemented with sunscreen and we might switch from drinking hot liquids to iced tea and fruit juices. Summer is so much fun for everyone, from our pets to our parents, it is time to get outside and relish in activities that are quickly banishing any lingering winter blues. Just like our human bodies, the changing temperatures and increased sunshine impact our automotive vehicles. With Summer here in all of its hot and sunshiny glory, our Honda’s and Fords will perform better with their own seasonal adjustments and maintenance checks, just as our wardrobes and coolers will.

Classic Ford
CC Image courtesy of katsrcool via Flickr

For Summer car service in Fort Collins, there are some simple things we can do ourselves in addition to getting a Summer tune up and maintenance check at our favorite Fort Collins Automotive shop. First, help your car keep its cool by using a sun shade. Not only will it keep your seats from reaching boiling hot temperatures, a sun shade will prevent fading and cracking, especially for vinyl and leather seats. Your dashboard will benefit as well from reduced exposure to heat and intense sun. If the car’s overall interior temperature is kept down by simple things like a sunshade and leaving the windows cracked a bit, it puts less strain on your air conditioner when you start the motor, reducing fuel consumption and emissions, which help lower our carbon footprint as well as save some money at the gas pump. You can pick up any sun shade of your choosing just about anywhere, and your Fort Collins automotive shop probably has some for sale as well. Interestingly, you can continue using auto sun shades in the winter: they keep frost off the windshield! While your getting a sun shade, go ahead and check your windshield wipers. If they are floppy, worn or not making good contact with the windshield, get a new set.

Next, properly inflate your tires for Summer conditions. Check the recommended level of tire pressure in your owners manual, or ask your tech what she recommends for summer tire inflation at your Fort Collins automotive shop. When car tires are under-inflated, the engine has to unnecessarily work harder to simply move your car. this means more fuel consumption as well as wear on the engine. This is also a great time to inspect your tires for uneven wear or bubbling. They might need an alignment from the strains of Winter driving conditions, or to be replaced altogether.

Another very simple Summer maintenance trick is to not overfill the gas. Gasoline needs room to expand and turn to vapor so your car can run properly. Overfilling the gas tank, or “topping off” the gas is not only detrimental to your car’s health, it increases the release of harmful chemical vapors into the air. All topping off does is waste gas and contribute to carbon emissions, as well as waste gasoline. When you fill your tank, don’t try and add any more fuel once the gas pump stops pumping.

Next, check your oil. Again, consult your owners manual or car service in Fort Collins for recommended oil weight per the season. What was most effective for lubricating your motor in Winter might not be as useful in Summer. If the oil looks gritty or dirty, get it changed.
While you’re under the hood, go ahead and check the other fluids in your car. If anything is low, fill the appropriate reservoirs. This is a great time to get your cooling system serviced, if you haven’t done so in the last year. When the cooling system is operating efficiently, your car’s engine will run at an appropriate temperature, increasing mechanical efficiency and saving on fuel. Cooling system maintenance, which includes regular coolant flushes, checking for leaks, and any needed repair, will keep your entire motor happy and healthy. A well maintained cooling system also lowers oil and gasoline usage.

Summer is also a time to replace old air filters. Dirty or worn out air filters will not clean the air needed by your engine, leading to lower performance. If the air in your car seems a bit stale, or the engine strains a bit when accelerating, these are symptoms of an inefficient air filter that needs replacing.

Finally, check your brakes and lights. Brakes should be inspected twice a year, and if they are worn or not working efficiently, it is time for getting them serviced. Then make sure your headlights and brake lights are working We generally have no idea that a brake light is out, or a headlight, until we get pulled over.

For all your Summer Fort Collins automotive needs, feel free to bring your car by Fort Collins Foreign Car Service. We can give your car a Summer maintenance service, making sure it is operating at it’s very best for Summer Driving.