Car maintenance tips for summer travel

Consumer Guide: How to find the best mechanic to repair your vehicle »

Summertime is travel time for a lot of people, and AAA estimates more than 31 million travelers will be hitting the roads this summer.

Susan Hogan joined The Rhode Show Thursday, with summer maintenance tips for your car.

While gas is important, that’s not the only thing you need to check.

“It’s a car. That means anything and everything if you haven’t taken care of it. From cracked hoses, to radiators leaking, to tires under inflated, dirty filters,” Susan Hogan explained.

Tires

When it comes to tires, they can become under inflated, worn be misaligned. All three can be extremely dangerous in the summertime heat.

According to tire experts, tire pressure changes with rising temperatures. So, check out your owner’s manual to see what your tire pressure should be.

“If a tire bulges outward and puts pressure on the sidewalls of the tire, with enough heat and pressure, your tire could blow,” Susan said.

  • Tip: Use the penny trick to see if you still have enough tread on your tires. Stick a penny in the tread and if Lincoln’s head disappears, you’re good to go.

Car overheating

The reason why most people break down from a car overheating is because of low coolant levels. The rule of thumb is to flush your radiator and add new coolant every two years.

“And if you see a puddle of coolant under your car when it’s parked for a while, that probably means you have a leak,” Susan explained.

Air conditioning

If your air conditioner breaks, it usually means a low level of refrigerant. It’s an easy check for any mechanic to do.

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