No matter where you and your Kia are going this summer or even if you’re just staying here in New Jersey, doing a little prep work before the heat and rain of summer arrives is always important. Summer means warmer weather and harsher weather. While your Kia is built to withstand even the harshest weather conditions, giving it an extra little attention before it arrives can mean a much smoother summer season. Here are some tips to make sure your Kia is as ready for summer as you are:
1. Check the cooling system.
As temperatures rise, your Kia will rely more and more on its cooling system. This means that you probably want to flush your cooling system and refill it before the danger of overheating becomes real. If you want to do this yourself, make sure that you do not take the cap off of your radiator until it and the engine is completely cool. Most Kia vehicles take a 50/50 split of antifreeze and water but check your user manual before refilling the coolant. If you don’t feel comfortable flushing and refilling your system, make sure to bring your Kia into our New Jersey maintenance team.
2. Change your oil and filter.
If you’re planning a road trip this year, it’s important to change your oil before you go. Oil should be checked and changed about every 3,000 miles, though higher quality oil and a high quality system can increase the number of miles your car can go it needs a check or a change. Changing your oil and filter is something that most people can do without professional help, however if you have any concern about what kind to use or if your car is due for a change, taking it into a professional is always a good option.
3. Clean your lights.
Even though summer means longer days and shorter nights, you’ll still want to make sure that your lights are clean and still functioning properly. When it’s dark, turn your lights on and get out of your car to check their brightness and cleanliness. If they are covered with bugs or dirt, give them a thorough cleaning with soapy water and a soft cloth. Additionally, if the lamps have become filmy, use a headlight abrasive to clear the composite off again. If one of the lights is dimming, replace it or have it replaced when you bring your vehicle in for maintenance.
4. Rotate or replace your tires.
Summer can be especially hard on tires. The heat and sunlight can blast a tire, stiffening the rubber and making it more susceptible to popping or shredding. If you have had the same tires for several years, it is time to rotate them or even get them replaced. You can check the tread on your own tires with a penny. Put the penny into the tread, with Lincoln’s head facing you and into the tread. If his head is covered, even just a little bit, you have enough tread. If not, it’s time for new tires.
5. Check your brakes.
All brakes in all vehicles are designed to wear out over time. If your feel your brakes shaking or wobbling when you step on the brake pedal, that is a good indication that you need new brakes. Additionally, if you can hear them squeal when you brake, this usually means it is time for new pads. Some Kia vehicles will even alert you when they need new rotors or brake pads. Even a small problem can quickly bloom into a very large and costly one, so have any brake issues checked and corrected immediately.
6. Check your battery.
Like with your brakes, if you are having a problem with your battery, your Kia will likely let you know. If you want to check it before going on a long driving trip, take your vehicle into a maintenance center and have them test it with a voltmeter. If you do not believe that your battery needs professional attention, summer is the perfect time to make sure that your vehicle’s battery leads are correctly attached to the battery. When the car is off, scrape any corrosion off of the posts and connectors. Clean the battery and the connections, and then retighten them, to ensure a good connection.
7. Replace your windshield wipers.
Just as winter cold can stiffen your windshield wipers and make them useless, summer heat can make them too pliable or dry out the rubber, making them crack and break. When the monsoons hit, you will want fresh windshield wipers to keep your windshield clear and your driving safe. Also, make sure that your windshield wiper fluid is filled. With higher winds, dust, dirt, and road grease, you will want plenty of fluid to help keep your windshield clean and clear.
8. Check your air conditioning system.
Summer is the worst possible time for your air conditioning system to fail. Your car may let you know about any issues with your air filters, but having them checked out and replaced, as well as having the entire system checked, is a great way to make sure that even if you want to drive across country in the blistering heat of summer, you’ll have a reliable air conditioning system the entire way.
Getting your Kia ready for summer doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult. Even if you are not planning to take your vehicle out of the state this summer, make an effort to prepare your car for the summer heat and you’ll ensure a longer, happier life for your car and a safer driving experience for you.