The days are getting longer and the temperatures are inching upward. Before long, it’s going to be time for vacations and road trips…and it’s going to be downright hot. At Sea Tac Tire & Auto Tech, we’d like to go over a few tips to make sure your vehicle’s ready (and help you avoid costly auto repair):
- Air conditioning – If your car’s AC system is only working marginally well, it’s worse than uncomfortable; it’s in greater danger of failing altogether in hot weather. Before things get too hot in Puyallup, WA, it’s a good idea to have an AC system checkup; we can clean bugs and debris from the condenser at the front of the car, recharge the system, check for leaks, replace the cabin air filter and check the condition of the drive belt for the compressor.
- Oil changes – Hot weather can put stress on every system in your car’s drivetrain, so it’s essential to make sure you’ve got clean motor oil to help reduce friction and disperse the excess heat the engine builds up. Intervals of 3-5,000 miles between oil changes are advisable for conventional motor oil; 8-10,000 miles for synthetic oil. Check your owner’s manual, or give us a call at Sea Tac Tire & Auto Tech in Puyallup, WA if you’re in doubt.
- Oil and Transmission Coolers – If you plan on hauling heavy loads or pulling a trailer this summer, we strongly suggest you consider an oil cooler and transmission cooler for your vehicle. These devices route oil and transmission fluid through a mini-radiator that disperses excess heat the same way your cooling system radiator does. Overheating is the enemy of automatic transmissions in particular, and this is a modification that can definitely help you head off expensive problems and auto repairs.
- Cooling system – Of all the systems in your entire engine, the cooling system may be the most important in the summer months. Coolant should be changed (with a radiator flush) every two years or 24,000 miles; a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is advisable. Schedule an auto repair appointment with Sea Tac Tire & Auto Tech in Puyallup, WA and we’ll have a look at your radiator, water pump, hoses, hose clamps and serpentine belt. NOTE: remember that the radiator cap should never, ever be removed until the engine has thoroughly cooled (at least two hours)!
- Tires – You’ve seen “road gators” on the shoulder of the interstate before – long strips of tread from a tire that self-destructed as a car or truck was headed down the highway. Nothing can ruin a trip quicker than a failed tire, but it doesn’t have to happen. Make sure your tires are rotated; 5,000 mile intervals are recommended, so it’s a good idea to schedule a tire rotation along with your oil change. Check your inflation before any long trip; underinflated tires have more rolling resistance, meaning more friction and heat buildup, lower fuel economy and a much greater chance of a blowout.
You have a choice between preventive maintenance or expensive auto repair – a choice that’s a no-brainer, really. At Sea Tac Tire & Auto Tech in Puyallup, WA, we want you to have a fun and safe summer, regardless of what you’re planning or where you’re going. If you’re in doubt about any of the items discussed here, make an auto repair appointment with us and we’ll gladly have a look!