Get Ready for Summer | Gainesville FL | Near Alachua, Starke, Ocala & Lake City

Six Keys to Prepping Your Vehicle for Summer

Getting Your Car Ready for Summer in Gainesville, FL

Summer in Gainesville can get unquestionably hot. While it makes for ideal conditions for a dip in a pool or day on the beach, the weather and driving conditions can put a lot of stress on your vehicle. Preparation, therefore, can mean the difference between a fun day with family or friends and a long day on the side of the road. So it’s critical that you check a few of the common culprits and important components before hitting the road this summer. What follows is a short checklist that will help you make the most of your car, truck or SUV during the summer months.

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Kick the Tires

When the weather gets warmer and schools let out, a lot of people hop in their cars to take road trips and family vacations. Regardless of your plans this summer, though, you should make sure your tires are in good condition. And that goes for the spare, too. Worn or underinflated tires can not only make handling your vehicle more difficult, but can lead to a blowout, as well. Check the tire pressure and fill as needed. You can consult your manual for proper tire-pressure guidelines. While you’re at it, be sure to look for cracks, worn tread, bubbles in the sidewalls, uneven wear and visible wear bars. If any of those are present, you likely need to replace the tire(s).

Throw Some Shade

The sun burns bright during June, July and August. You apply sunscreen for yourself, but did you know your car could benefit from a little protection, too? The sun can fade the coloring of your dashboard and your front seats. It looks bad and it can hurt the resale value of your car in the long run. The solution is fairly simple: seek a parking spot in the shade whenever possible. You should also travel with a sunshade that you can use when shade is otherwise hard to find.

Be Cool

Your vehicle’s air conditioning system may seem like the most important part of your car. In late July while stuck in traffic, it may very well be. To make sure your AC is firing on all cylinders, you’ll want to monitor its performance for over a week or two. Test all of the functions and note if the cabin doesn’t seem to cool like it should or if there is less pressure coming from the vents than you remember. AC systems are fairly complex and it can be very difficult to find leaks, as the gas that leaks is invisible. However, competent mechanics have the tools and technology to pinpoint the problem quickly. So if you feel your air conditioning isn’t working like it should, schedule a visit with our service department sooner rather than later.

Clear Things Up

Visibility is a must when it comes to driving - and visibility begins with your windshields. A windshield with inadequate wipers during a rainstorm is a safety hazard. And, as you know, summer wouldn’t be summer in Gainesville without afternoon thunderstorms. With that in mind, replace worn wiper blades and be sure to check your washer solvent level (you typically use more of the stuff in the winter, so it could be low). If you do need new wipers, a new set is relatively inexpensive and pretty easy to install yourself. Of course, our team at Parks Ford Lincoln of Gainesville can handle everything for you if you’d prefer.

Get Plenty of Fluids

If your car is less than 15 years old, it has specific oil needs that ensure your engine runs smoothly no matter the temperature outside. But you need to make sure you have enough of it and it doesn’t need changing. When you check the oil, if it’s a translucent amber color, add any oil the dipstick may indicate. You can check your owner's manual to see what type of oil your car needs. If it’s black and more on the grimy side, regardless of how much you have, it’s time for an oil change.

Oil isn’t the only fluid you need to be aware of. Take a look at the coolant reservoir. Make sure you have plenty of the fluid and make sure what you do have is relatively clear. You don’t want cloudy coolant in the reservoir. Also take a look at your brake fluid reservoir. If the brake fluid level looks low, it’s best not to top the fluid off, as it could be a sign of a leak in the brake system. Plan to take the car into Parks Ford Lincoln of Gainesville to have our service professionals check the brake system.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

While we don’t have much road salt to worry about here in Gainesville, we certainly have UV rays to worry about. A good wash and wax will help protect your vehicle from the harmful rays of the sun. Not to mention, a summer car wash will last long, and with so many warm and dry weekends in your future, finding time to treat your car to a nice bath shouldn’t be an issue. And what’s not to like about a clean and shiny car?

If you’re interested in learning more about how to prepare your vehicle for summer, visit Parks Ford Lincoln of Gainesville at 3333 North Main St.,Gainesville, FL 32609. From oil changes and new brake pads to wiper blades and AC repair, our highly trained service professionals can help you get the most from your car, truck or SUV this summer. So if you’re in Gainesville, Alachua, Starke, Ocala or Lake City, stop by or call to schedule a time to have your vehicle serviced.

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