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Summer Driving Tips to Avoid a Breakdown

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Summer Driving Tips to Avoid a Breakdown

Summer is synonymous with road trips, family vacations, and spontaneous adventures. While the warm weather and long days make for ideal driving conditions, the heat can also strain your vehicle, increasing the risk of breakdowns. As a tow truck company, we see a spike in roadside assistance calls during the summer months. To help you avoid being one of them, here are some essential summer driving tips to keep your vehicle in top shape and ensure a smooth journey.

1. Check Your Cooling System

One of the leading causes of summer breakdowns is an overheated engine. To prevent this:

  • Coolant Levels: Ensure your coolant levels are topped off and the mixture of antifreeze and water is appropriate.
  • Radiator: Inspect your radiator for leaks or damage. Have it flushed if it hasn’t been done in a while.
  • Hoses and Belts: Check for cracks, leaks, or loose connections. Heat can cause hoses to crack and belts to snap.

2. Monitor Tire Health

Hot pavement can exacerbate tire issues, leading to blowouts. To avoid tire trouble:

  • Tire Pressure: Regularly check and maintain the correct tire pressure. Under-inflated tires are more likely to overheat.
  • Tread Depth: Inspect your tires for adequate tread depth. Bald tires increase the risk of skidding.
  • Spare Tire: Ensure your spare tire is in good condition and properly inflated.

3. Maintain Fluid Levels

Your vehicle relies on various fluids to function correctly. In the summer, it’s crucial to keep them in check:

  • Engine Oil: Make sure your oil is at the right level and consider using a high-performance oil if you’re planning long trips.
  • Transmission Fluid: Check the transmission fluid level and condition.
  • Brake Fluid: Ensure your brake fluid is at the proper level to avoid brake failure.

4. Battery Care

High temperatures can take a toll on your vehicle’s battery. To avoid being stranded:

  • Battery Check: Have your battery tested, especially if it’s over three years old.
  • Clean Terminals: Keep the battery terminals clean and free from corrosion.
  • Secure Connections: Ensure all battery connections are tight and secure.

5. Air Conditioning System

A functioning A/C system is essential for comfort and safety in the summer heat:

  • A/C Performance: Test your air conditioning to ensure it’s cooling effectively.
  • Freon Levels: Have the Freon level checked and recharged if necessary.
  • Cabin Air Filter: Replace the cabin air filter to improve airflow and air quality.

6. Windshield Wipers and Washer Fluid

Summer storms can come out of nowhere, making visibility crucial:

  • Wiper Blades: Replace worn-out wiper blades for clear visibility during rain.
  • Washer Fluid: Keep your washer fluid reservoir full to clean off dust and bugs from your windshield.

7. Plan for Emergencies

Even with the best preparation, emergencies can happen. Be ready:

  • Emergency Kit: Carry an emergency kit with essentials like a first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, and basic tools.
  • Roadside Assistance: Have a roadside assistance plan in place for quick help in case of a breakdown.
  • Spare Parts: Carry spare fuses, bulbs, and other small parts that can be easily replaced on the road.

8. Safe Driving Practices

Preventive maintenance goes hand-in-hand with safe driving habits:

  • Avoid Overloading: Don’t overload your vehicle with too much luggage, as it can strain the engine and suspension.
  • Drive Sensibly: Avoid aggressive driving, which can overheat your engine and wear out your brakes.
  • Regular Breaks: Take regular breaks on long trips to avoid driver fatigue and allow your vehicle to cool down.

Summer driving can be a joy if you take the time to prepare your vehicle for the season’s challenges. By following these essential summer driving tips, you can reduce the risk of a breakdown and enjoy your travels with peace of mind. Should you find yourself in need of assistance, Limitless Towing is always ready to help you get back on the road safely. Drive smart, stay safe, and enjoy your summer adventures!