Inadequate car maintenance is one of the main reasons that drivers find themselves stuck on the roadways. Although the San Diego climate is typically mild, our close proximity to the beach may have an adverse impact on your car tires and batteries, and many residents do not think about this in advance. Use the following guidelines to perform routine checks on your vehicle throughout the year, ensuring that it remains in excellent driving condition.
A strong coat of wax is essential for exterior care of your vehicle, as it will reduce the occurrence of fading paint and degradation of the clear coat. Wash your vehicle on a weekly basis, and wax your car on a monthly schedule to protect it from the sun’s UV rays. However, be careful to avoid using products that are silicone-based, as this substance damages the rubber, plastic, or vinyl of your car.
Due to San Diego’s warm and sunny climate, heat from the road surfaces during the warmer months of the year can cause tires to lose strength and durability, leading to sidewall blowouts. For proper car maintenance, make sure that you rotate your tires and have an alignment done after you have driven every 7,500 miles or less. To properly care for your tires, check the tire pressure with a pressure gauge, as under inflation is more likely to cause your tires to overheat or fail in the excessive heat of the summer months. You may also wish to invest in nitrogen-filled tires, as using this gas can give you an extended tire life of as much as 25% when compared to regular air compression.
You should also regularly take the time to verify that there are no obvious cracks or embedded objects in the rubber of your tires’ sidewalls. In addition, you can quickly check your tire treads by inserting a penny into the grooves of your tires with Lincoln’s head facing down into the tire. On a set of new tires, the tire tread will cover the top of Lincoln’s head almost past the nose. If you try this test on tires on which you’ve been driving, you’ll note that the treads are worn down so that more of the face is visible. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to have your tires replaced.
To avoid mechanical problems, do regular car maintenance on your vehicle’s internal systems. For example, you should have your car batteries checked by a professional mechanic roughly twice a year to ensure proper functioning, as the last thing you want is to be stranded on the roadside with a dead battery.
However, it’s also a good idea to make sure you take good care of your engine as well. Get some quality engine coolant from your local auto parts store, as this fluid is specifically designed to remove excess heat from your engine, ensuring that it does not overheat. Your car’s coolant tank, located under the hood of your vehicle, will usually have a colored cap, but it’s a good idea to check your car manual if you are not sure where to find the tank. The outside of the reservoir should be marked with a line for the maximum and minimum fill, and the tank’s translucent material makes it easy to see whether or not your coolant level lies between these lines. If you are low on coolant, fill the tank to the maximum line.
In addition, be sure to check for leaks on a regular basis. If you notice pools of liquid under your car, it may be the result of a leak. This can be a serious issue, as leaking coolant or other fluids may mean that your engine will not run as well as it should. To check your leak, turn your vehicle off, place some cardboard on the ground beneath its engine, and let it sit overnight. If the cardboard appears to be wet from water in the morning, you may have a leaky water pump; if it’s green, you’ve likely got a coolant leak. Either way, these leaking fluids can cause serious problems, so it’s important to bring your vehicle in for repairs as soon as possible.
Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to change your car’s air filter on a regular basis. Most people don’t know that their vehicles have a cabin air filter, but this device helps to keep air breathable by filtering out dust, pollen, bacteria, and more. Your filter should be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.
If you need more information on appropriate car maintenance in the San Diego area, you can speak to an expert at Evans Tire. In the meantime, browse our blog to learn more about keeping up with your regular car maintenance.