We are creeping closer and closer to summer and the near-40 degree weather, wildfire smoke, rain, and long road trips that come with it. All of us may be ready for it, but your vehicle might not be. Now is the perfect time to check in and make sure everything is good and well under the hood so you don’t run into any trip-ruining surprises.
- Oil Change
This one may seem obvious, but it is a great idea to get this sorted out ahead of time. You don’t want to be left scrambling around trying to get it done before you leave on a trip, or when the busy season arrives for all the shops. An oil change is the most basic maintenance item for any vehicle, and serves as a great time to have an inspection done to check on the rest of these items as well.
- Engine & Cabin Air Filters
Your engine needs to breathe just like you do, and how well it can do so is decided by the air filter. A clogged air filter will starve your engine for air and reduce your fuel efficiency. To keep things running smoothly it is wise to have your air filter looked at regularly and replace it if it’s dirty. The same goes for your own air intake. As you turn on the Air Conditioning for the first time in months, you may notice a strange musty smell coming from the vents, even on a relatively new car. This is nothing to get overly worried about, as normally all you need is a new cabin air filter. They can trap moisture over the winter and start to brew some not-so-lovely scents for you and your passengers as spring warms things up outside. Both of these are fairly affordable and easy maintenance items that can have a big impact.
Your tires are the only thing truly connecting your vehicle to the road, so it’s in your own best interest to ensure they are up to the task. The rest of your maintenance can be as up to date as possible, but if your tires are worn out, the whole vehicle is a safety hazard. Driving on worn out tires increases rolling resistance, which increases fuel economy, and reduces your grip, increasing your stopping distance. This is especially unsafe on BC highways that are known to be full of wildlife and eager vacationing drivers that are unfamiliar with all the twists and turns of our roads. You should also make sure your tires are fully inflated to the correct pressures. Going too far over or under this pressure can increase your chances of a blowout, which is a surefire way to bring your summer fun to a halt.
- Cooling System
You won’t hear your car complaining about it, but its cooling system goes through hell and back on a 35 degree summer day. With ambient temperatures that high it becomes even more difficult for your car to stay cool. Modern cooling systems are up to the task, but only as long as everything is in good condition. If your coolant is aged or if the level is low, it will not be running as efficiently as possible, and struggle to keep your engine at an acceptable temperature. A cooling system pressure test, fluid test, and top up before summer will give you the peace of mind to go anywhere without worry.
- Windshield Wipers
Windshield wipers are one of the easier parts to overlook. After running over snow, ice, and frost over the winter months they become littered with thousands of tiny cuts and blemishes on the wiper edge. These imperfections leave room for water to leave streaks or a film on your windshield as they wipe, making it quite hard to see at times. This degradation happens very gradually, and quite literally right in front of you. This means that you often won’t realize just how bad they are until you replace them, and once you do you’ll wonder how you put it off for so long.
Summer is a great time, and as residents and visitors of the Okanagan we can all agree it’s something we look forward to. Taking care of the small things on your vehicle is a great way to ensure a trouble free summer. Come see us at Motor Werke, and we’ll have one of our qualified technicians take a look over your vehicle and identify any potential problems before they can get out of hand and ruin your summer.