This summer has been brutally hot, peaking this previous week with temperatures approaching 110 degrees. The heat can have all sorts of implications for your Ford, and it is important to take the proper steps to make sure your car stays healthy. These ten tips will help you keep your Ford in fighting shape all summer. Keeping up with your scheduled maintenance is essential to the health of your vehicle, so make a point to visit the service department at Randall Reed’s Planet Ford in Humble, TX – serving Houston, Humble, Crosby, and Conroe.
10. Check Your Tires
High temperatures can cause your tire pressure to fluctuate as much as a pound per square inch every ten degrees. Be sure to regularly check your tire pressure to keep your tires healthy, as tires that aren’t inflated to the proper pressure can reduce your fuel economy and even run the risk of a blowout.
9. Change Oil and Oil Filter
The oil in your Ford is essential to its continued health and functionality. The summer heat in the Houston area can cause your oil to thin out, which can reduce its effectiveness and cause overheating, and eventually can lead to mechanical failure. It is recommended that your change the oil in your Ford ever 7,500 miles, but high heat and hard driving during the summer may require more frequent changes.
8. De-Winterize Your Car
While there is usually no need for snow tires in Texas, the snow and ice storms we’ve experienced in recent winters mean that there will be salt on the roads for much of the season. Salt and grime can build up on the undercarriage of your Ford, and salt deposits will start eating away at the metal. Make sure to hose off the undercarriage if you have not done so already.
7. Check Hoses and Belts
Check all the hoses for cracks and leaks, and your belts for any cracks or significant wear. Broken or leaking hoses can cause the radiator in your Ford to fail, which will cause overheating and lead to many more problems.
6. Change the Air Filter
Have you replaced your air filter lately? A clogged air filter can seriously impact your fuel economy. Salt from the winter, pollen and other airborne particles in the spring, and general road debris can build up very quickly. Make sure to check your air filter regularly.
5. Replace Windshield Wipers
Thankfully, the massive rains of May and June are behind us, but Texas summers are notorious for sudden thunderstorms. Ensure your ability to drive safely in heavy rain by checking your windshield wipers regularly. If the blades are brittle, cracked, or worn down, it’s time for new wiper blades.
4. Check Your Brakes
Your bakes are one of the most crucial components in your Ford. Regular inspections of your brakes are essential; brake repair service gets more and more expensive over time if a problem is left unchecked.
3. Check The Coolant and Radiator
Cars already run at high temperatures, but without a well-maintained cooling system metal parts can begin to soften or even melt and fuse together, causing serious mechanical problems. Make sure to check your coolant levels regularly and make sure the radiator is clear of insects and debris.
2. Clean Your Battery
The summer heat can cause the chemicals inside the battery to expand. If the chemicals expand enough, battery acid will leak up through the poles and cause corrosion. This can lead to having to replace not only the battery, but the cables and terminals as well. Regular battery service is important, as the anti-corrosion pads and treatment will protect your battery and extend its life.
1. Maintain Your Air Conditioning
Air conditioning is the biggest part of making summer commutes bearable in the Texas heat. Make sure to have your refrigerant levels checked as recommended by your Ford owner’s manual. If it is not blowing cold, try the Recirculate function once the car has been running for a few minutes. If it still blows hot, refrigerant levels could be low, there could be a leak in the system, or the compressor could have failed.
These tips will go a long way toward keeping your Ford running properly and giving you peace of mind. The most important part of owning a vehicle, more than any items on this list, is keeping up with your regularly scheduled maintenance. Randall Reed’s Planet Ford in Humble, TX employs highly skilled and knowledgeable service technicians, and we strive to provide the highest level of service for your Ford car, truck, or SUV. Visit our website and check out our current Service Specials to get great deals, like a free brake inspection or rebates on select brands of tires!
For more information about how to protect your car from the summer heat, you can read the full article here: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/accidents-hazardous-conditions/summer-car-maintenance.htm#page=0