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Do I need to do anything special to prepare for long summer drives?

car overheatingGary Jaffarian explains how to prepare your vehicle with maintenance checks and preparation for comfortable summer driving.

To get ready for summer, Gary Jaffarian recommends you check the following 6 items and carefully choose where you park your vehicle:

1. A/C System—For comfort, the most important aspect of your vehicle is the air-conditioner system. There is nothing worse than a summer drive or being stuck in traffic and the air conditioner system doesn’t work. Now is the time to test your system before it gets too hot. The most common cause of a malfunctioning air conditioner unit is a low level of refrigerant. This could be caused by a leak, loose drive belt or a clogged condenser somewhere in the system. Since modern A/C systems are complicated creatures, it’s best to have a professional check out the problem. Despite what many people think, driving with your air conditioner on is more fuel-efficient than driving with your windows open.

2. Tire Treads—I discuss tires a great deal, I realize, but they are a key to your safety system, and you can prevent a flat or an accident with the proper checks. At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota, we check the tread on your tires at every service visit, including oil changes. Poor tire treads adversely affect your ability to stop within short distances and impair maneuverability, especially on wet roads.

3. Rotate your tires— and be sure to frequently check air pressure. Big temperature swings— such as from the extreme daytime heat to the relative cool overnight— can cause your tires to lose pressure more quickly. This can lead to inferior performance and coolant leaksreduced gas mileage. Be sure to regularly rotate your tires for optimal tire wear. This is something we can do at your service visits .

4. Engine coolant— It may be necessary to add coolant or perform a flush-and-fill. Summer’s heat makes it more difficult for your engine to keep its cool. Make sure your coolant is at the appropriate level.

5. Water Pump— This circulates coolant throughout the engine to prevent overheating. It’s prone to leaks, tears and leaky seals, so this should be checked in summer also.

6. Belts and Hoses—Those need to be checked for evidence of damage (such as cracks, fraying, leakage or swelling). The heat and humidity of summer will only make these conditions worse and may be the cause of a breakdown.

Park in the shade—(or your garage) to preserve the exterior paint and to protect your vehicle’s interior from potential damage caused by the extreme heat in a closed-up vehicle. Where possible, don’t park under trees. Sap from trees is difficult to remove and tree cover can increase the amount of pollen or bugs on the vehicle. If your vehicle needs a professional wash, try our Jaffarian Auto Spa. There are a lot of specials on our website for detailing and service.

For your convenience, we have an online scheduler; a shuttle van for a trip home or to the office while we’re working on your vehicle; or a comfortable waiting room with WI-FI, TV and free coffee. If parts are needed, we have thousands of Toyota and Volvo parts in stock in our Parts Department, so that means we will get you in and on your way faster. We also sell parts to the “do-it-yourselfers.”

Enjoy the beautiful summer weather forecasted for this weekend! Plan a fun summer drive!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

 

 

 

Gary Jaffarian

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