After dealing with the winter storm of February 2021, the heat of Houston summers is a welcome change. Whether you have plans for a road trip to Big Bend National Park or planning to stay local, you want to make sure your old, faithful car will remain in working order over the summer months.
Apart from ensuring your radio works well to blast your favorite summer tunes, we have a quick guide on how to prepare your old car for summer in Houston.
Check Your Tires
The change of season is an excellent time to check the condition of your tires. It's a perfect time to check the condition of your spare tire as well. When checking your tires, you're looking for any sidewall bulges, gouges, and cuts. If you notice any damage to your tires, you should replace them.
You also want to check the tread of your tires. A good rule of thumb is that if you see the top of George Washington's head when you place a quarter upside down in the grooves of your tires, it's time to replace them.
It's also an excellent time to get your alignment checked. With roads getting a D+ grade in a White House report, you'll want to make sure your alignment is good.
If your tires don't need replacing, you should check the tire pressure when your car has been idle for a while, and the tires are excellent. You can find the recommended tire pressure on the driver's side door jam. Inflate tires if needed.
Check Your Wiper Blades
Wiper blades consist of material that can take a beating during the colder winter temperatures and deteriorate.
If your wiper blades are leaving streaks or aren't cleaning the windshield correctly, it's time to replace the wiper blades. It's an excellent time to make sure the nozzles for the wiper fluid spray as they should.
Do a Fluid Check
Your mechanic will typically do this when they do a service, but you do a quick inspection of the following fluids:
- Windshield washer fluid: You'll want to use wiper fluid formulated to remove debris, including bug carcasses.
- Engine oil: It's essential to check your engine oil level after winter. Engine oil can evaporate in extreme heat, so you'll want to top it up before temperatures start to climb.
- Brake fluid
- Transmission fluid
- Power steering fluid
Secure and Test Your Battery
It's always a good idea to check the cable connections and ensure that they are clean and tight and the battery is secure. You can get your battery tested by a service professional who can tell you the capacity left in your battery.
Test Your Air Conditioning
You know how hot Houston summers can get. You don't want to wait for a day where the temperature hits 35°C to find out that your air conditioner isn't working.
To test this, drive with the air conditioner running and see if it's cooling the car properly. If you notice it's not running as cool as it used to, take it in for a diagnosis. You may need to have the cabin filter inspected to see if it needs replacing.
Check Belts and Hoses
It would be best if you inspect your belts and hoses for cracks and leaks. The cold winter weather may have taken a toll on the hoses and belts, and leaks and cracks can leave you stranded on the shoulder on the Baytown-East Freeway.
Check Your Breaks
Summers in Houston can be wet, and you'll need good brakes on those slippery roads. If you hear grinding or experience vibrations when you use your brakes, you should take it in for an inspection. They will check the brake system for leaks and check the condition of the brake pads, rotors, shoes, and drums and replace them if needed.
Get Ready to Feel that Summer Breeze
Even with the AC working, sometimes you just want to roll down the window and enjoy that late evening summer air. Of course, some old cars’ windows get persnickety after being shut all winter and spring.
Make sure all your windows roll down properly. If they don’t, consider taking your car to a mechanic. If your AC suddenly stops working for some reason, you don’t want to be stuck boiling in a car with broken windows.
Consider Cashing It In
While your old car holds lots of memories, there comes a time when you need to let it go. If you've been thinking that it may be time to let go of the car instead of getting it ready for summer this year, check out our Houston cash for junk car service!