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How Can Drivers in The Woodlands, Texas Prepare Their Vehicles for Summer?

Summer in the Houston area is known for its intense heat and humidity. Preparing your vehicle for these conditions is essential to ensure safety, reliability, and comfort. Here are some key steps to help you get your car ready for the summer months.

1. Check the Air Conditioning System
The Texas heat can be relentless, making a functional air conditioning system a necessity. Have a professional check the refrigerant level and the condition of the compressor. If your AC isn’t blowing cold air, it might need a recharge or other repairs. We are fully equipped to handle both refrigerant types that comes in vehicles, to ensure accurate refilling. Most automotive shops do not have this technology.

2. Inspect the Cooling System
Your car’s engine cooling system works overtime in the summer. Ensure the radiator, hoses, and coolant levels are in good condition. Look for any leaks or wear and tear that might lead to overheating. Replacing the coolant according to the manufacturer’s recommendations can prevent engine failure. Usually, this is every 4 years or when the cooling system has a repair performed to it.

3. Test the Battery
High temperatures can take a toll on your car’s battery. Test the battery to ensure it holds a charge and inspect it for any signs of corrosion. If your battery is more than three years old, consider replacing it to avoid getting stranded in the heat. Remember, most vehicles need the battery to be registered to the vehicle via a service program in order for it to work correctly!

4. Examine the Tires
Tire pressure can fluctuate with rising temperatures, which affects handling and fuel efficiency. Check your tire pressure regularly and keep it at the manufacturer’s recommended level. Inspect the tire tread for wear and rotate the tires if necessary. Don’t forget to check the spare tire (if equipped!)  and ensure you have a functional jack and tools. We show how to select the right tire here.

5. Review Fluid Levels
Summer heat can cause fluids to deplete faster. Regularly check and top off essential fluids, including engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Using the correct type and grade of oil can also help your engine perform better under high temperatures. We’ve talked about this in the past here.

6. Inspect Belts and Hoses
The rubber components under your hood, such as belts and hoses, can deteriorate faster in the heat. Look for any signs of cracking, fraying, or leaks. Replacing worn belts and hoses before they fail can prevent breakdowns and costly repairs.

7. Maintain the Brakes
Effective brakes are crucial, especially in summer when you might encounter sudden rain showers leading to slick roads. Have your brake pads and rotors inspected for wear and ensure the brake fluid is at the proper level. Brakes are important! We have an article about it, here.

8. Replace Wiper Blades
Summer storms are common, and having clear visibility is vital. Inspect your windshield wipers and replace them if they are worn or leave streaks. Ensure your windshield washer reservoir is full with an appropriate cleaning solution. Yes, we all feel the pain of the cost of wiper blades. It’s not just you.

9. Clean and Protect the Exterior
The intense sun can damage your car’s paint and interior. Regularly wash and wax your car to protect the paint from UV rays. Consider using a sunshade to keep the interior cool and prevent the dashboard and seats from cracking or fading.

10. Prepare an Emergency Kit
Summer travel can sometimes lead to unexpected situations. Equip your car with an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, a small first aid kit, some rubber gloves, and maybe a tire plug kit. Having these supplies on hand can be a lifesaver in case of a breakdown.

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