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Summer Car Care Tips

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Posted: Friday, May 27th 2016

Spring has sprung and our summer road trips are just around the corner! Thoughts of sunshine, warm temperatures and hopefully a nice beach, can make us forget essentials when traveling by car or truck. We know spring is a busy time of year which often leaves drivers to overlook caring for their vehicles. It's time to start thinking about your summer car care.

Before you're packed and ready to hit the road, every driver should check your vehicle's battery, brakes, fluids, wiper blades, oil and tires. A

tip to remember; your brakes stop your vehicle's wheels from spinning, but your tires are what truly stop your vehicle on the road. Check out our current rebates & specials on tires. So before you embark on your much needed vacation, set up an appointment with us to make sure your vehicle is road trip ready today! Our technicians will inspect and repair your vehicle promptly while guaranteeing their service. That's why we at Dunn Tire give you the service you deserve, by the professionals you trust.

Summer Car Care Checklist

1.) Schedule your seasonal tire change over. If you have winter tires, make sure to have them removed before traveling any long distance. Traveling on winter tires during warm summer months will not only cause road disturbance, but will contribute to premature tire tread wear.

2.) Rotate your tires. If you drive on All Season tires throughout the year, make sure to check if you are due for a rotation before embarking on your next long road trip. This simple service, which should be done every 5,000 – 10,000 miles (refer to your vehicle's owner's manual), will extend the tread life of your tires.

3.) Schedule a vehicle brake and suspension check. Most vehicles should have their tires rotated at least every six months (or every 5,000 to 10,000 miles), and that is a good time to have the brakes inspected as well. We can't emphasize enough the importance of maintaining effective brakes and stopping power. For the reliability and safety of your automobile and passengers, these are issues that cannot be ignored. A quick suspension shake down during a rotation or brake check is just as important. Two main suspension components that should be checked are your vehicle's shocks and struts. Because shocks and struts have so much to do with the handling of a car, they are critical safety features. Worn shocks and struts can allow excessive vehicle-weight transfer from side to side and front to back. This reduces the tire's ability to grip the road, as well as handling and braking performance.

4.) Check your tire air pressure. Proper tire inflation is just as important as having the right set of tires for the current weather condition. Correct tire pressure assures the best possible contact between the tires and the road. An improperly inflated tire can overheat, potentially leading to a blowout on the highway. Incorrect tire air pressure can also lead to premature tire tread wear. For more information on what your vehicle's proper tire pressure is, please be sure to check your driver side door jamb or your vehicle's owner's manual. A quick tip, check your tire pressure when the tires are cold, this will give you the most accurate reading. Properly inflated tires will last longer and improve gas mileage.

5.) Inspect your wiper blades and windshield washer fluid levels. Visibility on the road when traveling is vital. A clean windshield could mean the difference between seeing a deer on the road at night, or not. Make sure your wiper blades do not appear "dried out", showing any cracks or tears. Wiper blades should be replaced every 6 months to insure optimal performance. Your vehicle's wiper blades work hand in hand with your windshield washer fluid. Check your windshield washer fluid levels before any road trip, be sure to top off your reservoir.

6.) Check and inspect your vehicle's battery. On average, car batteries last for about three years with normal care and maintenance. If you've had your vehicle for over three years with the same battery, it might be time for a replacement battery. Check the cable ends and terminals for corrosion. If you see a buildup of debris around the connectors, you should clean those surfaces to maintain a good contact. Excess corrosion can reduce the current following from your battery, making it harder to start your vehicle. Some causes of corrosion are loose terminal connections and cracks from the battery casing or battery cap. These cracks allow gas to leak from the inside of the battery. You will find corrosion where these gases contact the lead battery posts and terminal connectors. You should also check the fluid levels in the cells to ensure they are at the proper levels.

7.) Schedule an oil change. Getting your vehicle's oil changed regularly is one of the most important preventative maintenance items you can do to preserve your engine. Refer to your vehicle owner's manual for recommended oil change intervals. If you had your oil change performed recently, before you head off on a road trip, check your oil levels. If the oil level is low, top it off. Be conscious of your low oil level when you're traveling. If you stop for the night, be sure to check your levels again in the morning.

8.) Change your vehicle's air filter. It's a good idea to replace your cabin air filter after 15,000 miles or every year. Keep in mind, the service interval can vary depending on your driving habits. The maintenance section of your owner's manual may list the recommended service interval for your vehicle. The cabin air filter works to keep dust and other pollutants out of your vehicle when using the fan, AC or heater. This includes pollen, mold spores, dirt from the road, dust, leaves and any other contaminants that may be airborne. Maintaining a clean air filter will not only help the air quality inside your vehicle, but will help your heating and cooling systems to operate more efficiently, resulting in less wasted gas and stronger engine performance.