Summer Driving Tips Looking for more summer driving tips? Check out the Insurance Hunter blog! We provide tips on maintenance, finding car insurance, driving in different seasons, and much, much more! Summer weather can be hot and stressful on your car’s equipment. That’s why it’s smart to have your mechanic give it a once-over and inspect your vehicle’s major systems to make sure everything is running smoothly and you’re in good shape for your next road trip. Here are a few things they should be checking for: Cooling system This is an important one. One of the most common reasons people need emergency roadside assistance during the summer is because their vehicle has overheated. Have your mechanic check for leaks in the radiator; and for cracks, leaks and swelling in the rubber cooling system hoses. You might also want to replace your antifreeze if it’s more than two years old. Battery A failed battery is another main reason why people need emergency assistance on the road in the summer. If your battery is more than two or three years old, you should have it checked for strength so you can avoid inconvenient and costly breakdowns. A/C For your own comfort more than anything, ask your mechanic to make sure your air conditioner is operating properly. Check that it has enough refrigerant, and that it isn’t making any unusual noises. Strange noises can mean that the compressor is about to die. Tires Winter can be rough on your tires. Check them for sidewall breaks and excessive or uneven tread wear. This is an especially important checkpoint because if your tires are worn, they won’t provide enough traction; which is something you’ll need during summer’s heavy rainstorms. Checking your tire pressure is also important, since summer often has your vehicle loading all kinds of cargo – bike racks, luggage, etc – and needs adequate pressure to handle it. Brakes If your vehicle is exposed to a long winter climate with lots of road salt, you could be looking at brake damage. Right before the summer is an ideal time to get them checked. Regardless of whether you live with a long winter, you should still have your brakes inspected if it has been more than 20,000 kilometres or six months since their last inspection. Lights While summer days are long and cause drivers to need their headlights far less, it’s still wise to do a check of all lights on your vehicle – headlights, taillights, blinkers, fog lights and brake lights – to make sure you’re riding as safely as possible. Another important consideration when moving into summer driving season is fuel efficiency. Gas prices can get pretty overwhelming in the warmer months, so here are a few tricks that could save you a few bucks. 1. Drive sensibly. Rapidly accelerating and braking reduces gas mileage by a third. Also, changing speed at sensible rates can boost fuel economy by 5% in the city and 33% on the highway. 2. Remove extra weight (e.g. bike racks, camping equipment, etc) from the truck bed or top of your car as soon as you don’t need it. 3. On big road trips, separate long hauls with enough time to let the engine cool between legs of the journey. This could potentially save you big by staving off unexpected trips to the mechanic. Just remember, summer is all about having fun. And the safer you drive, the more fun you’ll be able to have. Hopefully these tips will help you have a safer season.
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