Everyone knows you’ve got to get your car ready for snow season, but don’t forget about summer, folks. Your car could always use a little love, and summer presents some unique automotive challenges and opportunities. If you want to maximize your fun in the sun, check out my tips for making this car summer the best one yet.
1. Check Your Air Conditioning System
The thing about air conditioning systems is they have a way of quitting at the worst possible time. You might be stuck in traffic on a 90-degree day, for example, or in the middle of a scorching summer road trip through the Midwest. Sounds nasty, right? That’s why I recommend taking preemptive action and getting your air conditioning system checked before the summer months really heat up. Just head over to your trusted mechanic and have him run some diagnostic tests; it won’t cost you very much, and if anything needs fixing, you’ll be glad you didn’t find out the hard way.
2. Bring Out that Summer Shine
Washing your car in the winter months can seem pointless, because you’re just going to get it dirty again the next time you drive somewhere. But now that summer’s finally here, it’s worth putting in some quality time with your car’s paint and wheels. That means you’re going to want some car wash supplies, and I’m going to show you the absolute easiest way to achieve car detailing nirvana: just grab a bottle of Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash and Wax Anywhere. You don’t even need water! Just spray this stuff on your paint, grab a microfiber cloth, and wipe till dry. Don’t tell anyone, but I use it for my wheels, too. It only takes a few minutes to do the whole car, and you’ll be amazed at the results.
3. Check Your Washer Fluid
Most people are surprised by this one, but if you think about it, it makes sense. Winter brings inclement weather to most parts of the country, and that means folks have to squirt their windshields a lot more than usual. Result? Washer fluid reservoirs are often nearly dry by spring. Fortunately, that reservoir is usually right at the front of the engine bay, and it’s super-easy to open and refill yourself. Try this washer fluid from Rain X—I swear by it myself.
4. Focus on Inner Beauty
Last but not least, let’s not forget about the interior of your car. Like everything else, the cabin’s probably a little worse for wear thanks to winter stress. But that’s nothing a good scrub can’t fix. To remove all that winter dirt and grime from your dashboard and other hard-to-clean areas, try something like these interior detail brushes from Autocraft. And to get your upholstery looking fresh again, check out Turtlewax’s upholstery cleaner—it even leaves a protective coating when you use it.
5. Lubricate your Brakes
Another consequence of harsh winter driving is that your brakes have to work harder than usual. That means they could use some lubrication to get back up to snuff, so I recommend grabbing a bottle of Permatex’s Ultra Disc Brake Caliper Lube. It’s a cheap and incredibly effective product. If you’re not comfortable putting it on yourself, just bring it to your mechanic and ask him to give you a hand.
6. Enjoy the Drive!
Follow these tips and I promise you, you’ll be ready for anything summer’s got in store. Drive safe, friends, and have fun out there.
Editor’s note: As you plan to hit the road this summer, get trusted tips on how to maximize your mileage.