After a long, stressful year, there’s never been more of a need for a relaxing summer.
However, with the season comes the dreaded summer heat. If you live anywhere in the southern United States, you know summers are brutal -- and that's even more true for Jacksonville.
With the daily high temperature averaging in the nineties all summer long, remember that your trusty old car can suffer from the heat and humidity as well.
Older vehicles require special care in hot weather. Below is a step-by-step guide for how to prepare your old car for summer in Jacksonville, FL.
Step 1: Check Under the Hood
Checking the fluids under the hood before summer in Jacksonville is vital, especially with an older vehicle.
Start with the oil. Stay on top of oil changes and continuously check your oil levels and consistency. Oil should be an amber color. If your oil looks black or sludgy, get the oil changed as soon as possible.
Next, move on to the coolant. This fluid is not just vital for your engine. It's necessary to keep your air conditioning cool and functioning. Getting caught in a Jacksonville heatwave with no AC is not a pleasant situation.
Finally, check the brake fluid. You can have a mechanic check this or do it yourself, but before it gets hot, make sure to have plenty of brake fluid, as this helps your car stop.
Step 2: Tires
Tires are crucial to any vehicle, especially tires on an older car in Jacksonville's climate. Before the humidity and heat arrive, you should:
- Check the tire pressure in each tire. If any are low, fill them.
- If you fill them and they continue to become too low, you might have a tire leak. Take your car to a tire specialist.
- Some older cars have old tires as well, and this shows in the tread. Examine each tire's tread and look for bubbles, worn tread, nails (or other objects), and wires.
- Ensure your spare tire is ready to go.
- If it's been a while, get your tires aligned. An alignment helps prevent tire damage in hot weather, especially with an older car.
Step Three: Check Windshield Wipers
Windshield wipers might not seem as vital as tires and a healthy engine, but during a Jacksonville summer, they need to be in the best shape possible.
Because Florida summers are notoriously rainy, with storms typically happening every afternoon, it’s vital you check your windshield wipers.
Being caught with old wipers in a torrential downpour is not just a nuisance. It could be a safety risk to you and others on the road.
Even if your wipers currently work, that doesn’t mean they will hold up for the whole summer. If it has been six months since you last changed them, get a new pair!
Also, look for any signs of damage like bent wipers or pieces of rubber strips falling off.
Step Four: Keeping Your Older Car Prepared for Anything
After checking the vitals of your vehicle, there are a few other items you might want to consider having on hand or getting checked out.
First, newer cars sometimes come with first aid kits, but older vehicles do not. Keep one in your glove compartment stocked with bandages, rubbing alcohol, and ointment.
Don’t forget to always have extra water. Older cars overheat more easily than newer models, so having water to cool your engine down will seriously help in an emergency.
Jacksonville summers are all about cruising by the beach, so make sure your radio (or aux cord) is working. You don’t want to spend the summer driving in silence instead of listening to your favorite songs!
Finally, remember to check the windows. Like the radio, rolling your windows down by the beach is a Jacksonville summer staple. Make sure your windows are functioning, even if you have an older car with crank windows.
Consider Cashing in Your Car
Summers in Jacksonville can be tough on your older car, but being proactive and taking these steps will prevent any issues and keep your vehicle running for many summers to come.
Still, some cars can’t be salvaged. If your car is falling apart and you need to junk it, Junk Car Medics can take that old car off your hands. It's better to get rid of it than chance a risky situation on the road if your older vehicle is beyond repair. We pay cash for cars in Jacksonville and can give you money before you find yourself stranded somewhere with your dying car!