Summer is finally here! Time to drop the top and put the pedal to the metal – especially if you’ve had your classic beauty shuttered away in storage for the long winter months. While we covered some important winter car care tips earlier this year, there are some equally important items to consider when temperatures spike into the 100-degree range.
Check Your Fluids
While lubricants can be a life saver during the dry winter months, the summer heat can actually burn off those fluids more quickly than you think. Coolant, motor oil and windshield washer fluid are all easily checked, but antifreeze is the one item you really want to keep tabs on as the outside temperature rises. Modern cars will often have a reserve tank that’s easily accessible, but classics can be tricky if you’re not familiar with all the ins and outs. One key safety tip: never open a reservoir or radiator while the engine is still hot.
Use UV Protection
Sunscreen is important anytime you’re spending long days in the sun, but UV protection for your car is just as vital! If you store your vehicle outside during warmer weather, invest in a quality, breathable cloth cover or even a car-port style awning. If you enjoy washing your car by hand, invest in a wax that also has a UV protectant blended in. Prolonged exposure to the sun will quickly fade and paint job – not to mention quickly spiking the interior temperature of the car. A cheap, $20 sun shade for your windshield can also help save hundreds of dollars in repairs for dried out can cracked dashboards due to excess sun exposure.
Check your tire pressure! Spring can be a tricky time with lots of ups and downs in temperatures, but the heat of summer roads combined with over or under-inflated tires can be dangerous. Not only do you take a hit in the gas mileage department, but the risk of blowout on road trips and a loss in traction from splashy or springy tires is also a concern. While modern cars will often have an internal tire pressure monitor, nothing replaces a reliable tire pressure gauge. For a few dollars and a few minutes you can save yourself from plenty of time and hassle down the road.
Follow the above tips and you’re sure to have a fun-filled summer that’s interrupted minimally from any vehicle maintenance issues. And let’s face it, you didn’t invest that time and money into your classic to just stare at it longingly from your air-conditioned living room, did you? Get out and drive!