Taking care of your vehicle is always important, but it’s especially key for Phoenix drivers. The extreme weather we experience in the summer months means that in some ways Phoenix residents have more wear and tear on their cars than northern drivers! Here are 10 car maintenance tips that are very important for Phoenix drivers.
Check Fluids Often
Your car’s fluids, such as coolant, oil, power steering, brake, and even windshield washer fluid, needs to be checked on a regular basis. Most fluids can be checked by simply taking a look at the fluid container under the hood. The engine oil requires you to use a dipstick. If your fluids are low, refill them to the appropriate level. In some cases, you’ll also want to take the car to a mechanic to check for a leak.
Check the Battery
The car battery can sometimes get dust and dirt built up on them, or corrosion on the terminals. In addition, you should look for frayed cables or cracks in the cases. If your car is slow to start up, the engine smells bad, or the check engine light comes on, it’s time to bring the car in for service.
The tremendous heat in Phoenix can do a number on your tires, so it’s important to include them in your car maintenance routine. When it’s hot in Phoenix, your tires will expand and the pressure may be too great for the tire to bear. Check pressure and look for cracks, signs of rotting, or low tread levels. Be sure to keep tire pressure at the appropriate level to help keep yourself and others safe on the road.
Most Phoenix drivers probably know the old car maintenance adage, “3 months or 3,000 miles.” In reality, the mileage you drive is more important than the amount of time that passes. Be sure to get your oil changed every 3,000 miles or at the mileage level recommended by the engine oil manufacturer.
Change Air Filters
In the Arizona dust and sand, our air filters don’t last very long. It’s important to make sure air filter changes are part of your regular car maintenance routine because of the effect a dirty filter has. You’ll notice slower acceleration, strange noises when your car is idling, possible issues with exhaust emissions and car backfiring. Be sure to check your air filters regularly.
Inspect Drive Belts and Hoses
With the dry, hot air in Phoenix, the belts and hoses in your car are under a lot of stress. They may dry rot, crack or have other issues. To make sure your car maintenance is under control, inspect your drive belts and hoses often. You’ll be able to see most issues visually. If your engine is making unusual noises it’s a sign that it’s time to bring the car to a mechanic.
Check Timing Belts
The timing belts in your car are under a lot of the same strain that other belts and hoses are. Part of your car maintenance routine should be to look at the belt regularly to make sure there isn’t abrasion, cracking, pilling, or glossing on the belt. Also pay attention to any vibration or slipping in the engine that isn’t usually there as you drive.
Check Brakes for Wear
Your car’s brakes are one of the most important safety features the car has, and making sure they are in good condition is a vital part of car maintenance. You will need to remove a front wheel to see the brakes well. Check for rust, grooves in the disc, and uneven wear. In addition, look through the inspection hole to see the brake pads and make sure they aren’t wearing thin. Remember that brakes are designed to wear out from the friction they create to stop your car, so don’t put off this important maintenance.
Clean and Wash the Car Often
This isn’t what most people think of as car maintenance, but for Phoenix drivers, it’s essential. Keeping the dust and grime off of your car helps prevent rust, dry rot, and other issues with the performance and safety of your car. Be sure to wash the car often as part of your regular maintenance.
Other Maintenance Requirements
Every type of vehicle has its own unique requirements for car maintenance as well. You will find additional tips and suggestions in the car’s manual, and you will also learn what your car needs from your own experience with it. Some cars will have frequent issues in one way or another that simple preventive maintenance will help you avoid.
For more information on car maintenance or to schedule an appointment for your car to be inspected or repaired, call Hi Tech Car Care at 602-224-0941 or fill out our contact form online. We’re here to help ensure that your car runs at its best and safest throughout its life.