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Wondering how to prepare your car for summer? The season’s warm weather can be hard on your ride, placing stress on everything from its air conditioner to its battery.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help your vehicle cruise through the heat without breaking a sweat. Read on to learn how to get your car ready for the dog days of summer. The tasks listed below are easy to tackle and can be completed in just a few minutes.

Check the Air Conditioning System

Your car’s air conditioning system takes a beating during the summer, working tirelessly to keep you and your passengers fresh and cool. Don’t wait until a sweltering day to learn that it’s not working properly. Give it a test run before summer descends to make sure it’s blowing cool air and performing as it should. This will allow you to perform any necessary repairs or maintenance before a heatwave hits.

Evaluate the Battery

Hot weather can speed up battery corrosion and reduce its capacity, making it difficult or impossible for your car to start. You can avoid this inconvenience by getting the battery tested at an auto repair shop. If its charge is weak, invest in a new battery.

Take a Look at the Tires

You’re not still riding on winter tires, are you? If so, it’s time to replace them with summer tires. Doing so will optimize your car’s handling and traction during warmer months. While you’re at it, make sure your tires are properly inflated according to the automaker’s guidelines. You can find these specifications in your vehicle’s owner’s manual, and you can check each tire’s air pressure using a gauge purchased from an auto parts store. Tires that are under- or over-inflated will compromise fuel economy, so carefully monitoring your car’s rubber may save you money on gas.

Keep an Eye on Engine Temperature

As the weather gets warmer, keep an eye on the dash-mounted gauge that provides information about your car’s engine temperature. If the temperature is in the red or hotter than normal, this could indicate a problem with the car’s radiator. There may be a leak in one of the hoses. If so, you may notice a puddle of fluid underneath the car. Higher-than-normal engine temperatures could also mean the radiator is running low on coolant. It’s a good idea to have your car’s cooling system flushed and refilled every two years with fresh coolant. If you’re adding coolant, remember that this task should never be undertaken while the engine is hot, since you could burn yourself while removing the radiator cap.

Check the Windshield Wipers

You’ll need your windshield wipers to navigate summer rainstorms. If they’re damaged, they’ll leave streaks on the windshield that could impede visibility and create a safety hazard. It’s a good idea to change your wiper blades at least twice a year, with the advent of summer and winter. At the very least, inspect the blades for signs of wear before summer weather kicks in.

It feels good to take a proactive stance with vehicle maintenance. The tips shared above will help you make sure your car is in fighting shape for the summer.

Check out all the chemical & lubricant products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to prepare your car for summer, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

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