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Summer Vehicle Inspection Guide: What To Check Under The Hood

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Summer Vehicle Inspection Guide: What To Check Under The Hood

Preparing Your Ride for the Sunny Season

As the warm summer months approach, it’s time to give your trusty ride a little extra TLC. You see, the summer heat can be downright brutal on a vehicle, putting all its components to the test. That’s why I’m here to share my ultimate Summer Vehicle Inspection Guide – a comprehensive checklist to ensure your car is ready to tackle the open road with confidence.

Let’s start by popping that hood, shall we? This is where the magic happens, so we’ll want to give everything a thorough once-over. I know it can seem daunting, but trust me, it’s worth the effort. After all, the last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the highway in the scorching sun, cursing the day you skipped this crucial step.

Checking the Engine Oil

First things first, let’s take a look at the lifeblood of your engine – the oil. This is the stuff that keeps all those moving parts well-lubricated and running smoothly. The subject of engine oil is one that I could go on about for hours, but I’ll try to keep it concise.

During your summer vehicle inspection, you’ll want to check the oil level and condition. Simply pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinsert it. Pull it back out and take a look – the oil should be at the proper level, as indicated by the markings on the dipstick. If it’s low, you’ll need to top it off. And while you’re at it, give the oil a sniff and a visual inspection. If it looks dark and dirty, or has a burnt smell, it’s time for a change.

But don’t just take my word for it. Head over to to learn more about the importance of proper oil maintenance and find the right products for your vehicle. They’ve got a wealth of information to help you keep your engine in tip-top shape.

Inspecting the Coolant System

Next up, let’s take a look at the coolant system. This is what keeps your engine from becoming a steaming, overheated mess in the summer heat. The subject of coolant maintenance is another deep dive, but I’ll try to hit the highlights.

During your summer vehicle inspection, you’ll want to check the coolant level in the overflow reservoir. It should be between the min and max markings. If it’s low, you’ll need to top it off with the appropriate coolant mixture. While you’re at it, take a close look at the hoses and belts. Are they cracked, bulging, or showing signs of wear? If so, they may need to be replaced.

And don’t forget about the radiator itself. Give it a gentle brush-off to clear any debris, and make sure the cooling fans are working properly. You don’t want to find out the hard way that your cooling system is on its last legs when you’re stuck in traffic on a scorching summer day.

Examining the Battery and Electrical System

Alright, let’s move on to the battery and electrical system. These components are the lifeblood of your vehicle, and they’re put to the test in the summer heat.

First, take a close look at the battery itself. Is it corrosion-free and securely mounted? Give the terminals a quick cleaning with a wire brush to ensure a good connection. While you’re at it, check the battery cables for any signs of wear or damage.

Next, fire up the engine and let it run for a bit. Keep an eye on the voltmeter – it should be reading somewhere between 13.5 and 14.5 volts with the engine running. If it’s not, there could be an issue with the alternator or charging system.

And don’t forget about all those electrical components that keep your car running and comfortable. Take a quick spin through the accessories, from the air conditioning to the headlights, to ensure they’re all functioning properly. You don’t want to find out your AC is on the fritz when you’re cruising down the highway on a scorching summer day.

Inspecting the Tires and Suspension

Now, let’s move down to the business end of your vehicle – the tires and suspension. These are the parts that keep you firmly planted on the road, and they’re crucial for safe, reliable summer driving.

First up, take a close look at your tires. Are they properly inflated? You can find the recommended tire pressure in your owner’s manual or on the placard located on the driver’s side doorjamb. Underinflated tires not only wear out faster, but they can also impact your fuel economy and handling.

While you’re at it, give the tread a once-over. Is there enough depth left to provide good grip, even in wet conditions? If the tread is getting a bit thin, it might be time for a replacement. And don’t forget to check the sidewalls for any cracks or bulges – those are signs of potential trouble.

Next, let’s move on to the suspension. Give the shocks and struts a gentle push and pull to check for any play or looseness. If they feel spongy or unresponsive, they may need to be serviced or replaced. And don’t forget to inspect the ball joints, tie rods, and other suspension components for any signs of wear or damage.

Checking Exterior Lights and Wipers

Alright, we’re almost done with our summer vehicle inspection. The last few items on the list are the exterior lights and wipers.

First, take a walk around your car and give all the lights a quick test. Turn on the headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals to make sure they’re all functioning properly. Replace any burnt-out bulbs, and make sure the lenses are clean and free of cracks or damage.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget about the wipers. Are they still doing a good job of clearing the windshield, or are they starting to leave streaks and smears? If the blades are looking a bit worn, it’s time to replace them. After all, you’ll want those wipers in tip-top shape to handle the inevitable summer downpours.

Wrapping Up Your Summer Vehicle Inspection

There you have it, folks – my comprehensive Summer Vehicle Inspection Guide. By taking the time to thoroughly check under the hood and throughout your car, you can rest assured that your ride is ready to tackle the open road, no matter how sweltering the temperatures may be.

Remember, a little preventative maintenance now can save you a whole lot of headache (and money) down the line. So don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and dig into the nitty-gritty. Your car will thank you, and so will your wallet.

And if you need any help along the way, be sure to head over to for all the products and information you need to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. Happy summer driving!

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