An abundance of acorns. Wooly caterpillars that are all black. The number of foggy August mornings. All of the preceding are old wives’ tales that supposedly predict winter’s severity. While I put some stock in weather lore, I always wonder why there’s no similar “forecasting” for what summer is going to be like. Here’s my strategy for predicting whether it will be a blistering hot summer – I plan on it. That way, if the summer is mild, I’m pleasantly surprised, and if it’s crazy hot, I’m already prepared.
Everyone around here always talks about getting “winter-ready” but you never hear people making plans to be “summer-ready.” Our local old timers say we haven’t had any “real” winters since the ‘50s and ‘60s. Back then, the snows were so deep they’d chain half a dozen farm tractors together in a line to try and bust through the drifts and clear the dirt roads. Winter or summer, I like to be ready for anything Mother Nature might throw my way. And for me, being ready starts with my family’s vehicles – particularly the 4×4 truck and tractor. Without them, I’m not going anywhere or getting anything done.
One of my favorite things to do on a beautiful spring Sunday afternoon is a car tune up while I listen to a race on the radio because I follow the NASCAR standings pretty closely. This is a way I can do both – keep track of my favorite NASCAR teams and drivers while getting get a jump on summer’s heat. My spring car tune up includes an auto battery testing and gives me peace of mind that my vehicles are going to perform when I need them. I’m not talking anything too complicated for most do-it-yourselfers. Here’s my list of tune up “must do’s” before summer.
- Oil change
- Test coolant strength
- Fill windshield wiper fluid reservoir with Rain-X Bug Remover Windshield Washer Fluid
- Auto battery testing
- Check belt and hose condition
- Tire tread depth and inflation pressure
- Check all fluid levels
- Emergency kit in the car
- Replace windshield wipers if six months old or older
While it’s still early in the season, even if my favorite driver doesn’t end the year on top of the NASCAR standings, at least these vehicle preparations give me the confidence I need going into summer driving.
Editor’s note: Summer’s heat is tough on car batteries. Make it easy on yourself by having Advance Auto Parts test your battery for free. We also offer free battery and wiper installation with purchase. Most vehicles, most locations.