Summer temperatures put additional strain on just about every part of your car. Keep your vehicle rolling smoothly with these easy seasonal maintenance tips that save you money down the road.
Replace the Engine Air Filter
The engine air filter prevents dirt, debris and bugs from getting into the engine. Most mechanics recommend changing the engine air filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. However, if you live in an area with increased pollution or dust during the summer, check your engine air filter more frequently.
The cost of a new engine air filter averages between $36 and $86. However, ignoring your engine filter can result in major engine damage that will require it be replaced: The cost of a new engine is $3,000 to $8,000, plus thousands more for labor.
Flush the Radiator
A car’s radiator works harder during warm summer months. Over time, blockages from inside the radiator, making the system less efficient, and your car more likely to overheat — potentially cracking your head gasket. Replacing a head gasket is a very expensive repair, costing between $731 and $1771 depending upon the vehicle type.
A better course of action is to have your radiator flushed to remove the blockages. The average cost for this service is between $50 and $155 and most mechanics recommend having it done every 36,000 miles. Refer to your owner’s manual for what’s recommended for your vehicle.
Check the Tires
You can save an average of $637 that you would otherwise have to pay to prematurely replace all four of your tires — just by manually checking whether they’re properly inflated.
You’ll want to do this because there’s no automated sensor for over inflated tires like there is for deflated tires.
Yet hot weather increases tire pressure, which can cause unnecessary wear and tear.
So, inflate your tires to recommended pressure found on the inside of the driver’s door.
Charge the Air Conditioner
A hot and steamy day isn’t the time to find out your car’s air conditioner needs to be recharged.
Turn it on early in the spring and pay an estimated $123 to $156 to refill your car’s refrigerant if needed.
Replace the Cabin Air Filter
The cabin air filter prevents pollutants from getting into the cabin of the vehicle.
Car manufacturers recommend changing the cabin air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, but people who live in or drive through areas with lots of pollution may need to change it more frequently.
Not changing the cabin air filter will not effect the performance of the engine, but will affect the climate control system, making for an uncomfortable ride due to higher summer time levels of unsavory smells and pollutants coming directly into the cabin.
The cost to replace your cabin air filter is between $40 and $100, depending on the type of care you have.
Summer Car Maintenance Is Well Worth It
These summer car maintenance tips are easy, affordable, and well worth their price to keep your car in tip top shape in the summer heat.
Readers, is your car ready for summer? When’s the last time you gave it a tune-up?
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