Summer is upon us, school is out, and vacations are booked. It is time for visits to the beach, the pool, and the park. However, all drivers should ensure that their vehicles are ready to take on warm-weather adventures. High temperatures and extra miles can impact a vehicle’s performance. Do not let unexpected car trouble or a car accident interrupt any summer adventures. Now is a great time to make sure every part of a vehicle is safe and ready for the road. Some actions can be performed at home, but others should be performed by a reliable mechanic. Drivers should perform safety checks on the following to ensure their car is ready for summer travel:
Air Conditioning System
Turn the car’s air-cooling system on and off. If it is not blowing cool air, something needs to be adjusted. Check to see if the car needs freon or if there is a cracked hose. Drivers do not want to be stuck in the heat without an efficient air conditioning system, so speaking to a mechanic is beneficial if there is any car trouble.
All drivers should ensure that the connections and hardware on the car’s battery is secure and if it needs to be replaced. Drivers can do that on their own by using a voltage meter to check that it is within normal range for the battery type. Many auto part retailers will check the battery for free in a matter of minutes.
Cracked or Frayed Belts
Drivers should look for any cracked or frayed belts around the alternator and air conditioning compressor that need replacing. Worn, loose, or bulging radiator hoses can cause the engine to overheat among other problems. It is important to check and replace these rubber parts at the start of the season to avoid costly repairs.
A full brake inspection from a professional is recommended at least twice a year. A mechanic can check the pads, rotors, shoes, and drums for problems and make sure that there are no fluid leaks. Between routine service appointments, drivers should pay attention for pulsating or grinding when braking as these are signs that the brakes need to be replaced.
Vehicles may be exposed to increased dust in the summer, which can clog the filters. Replace PCV valves, air, and fuel filters more often in dusty conditions. Clogged fuel filters limit airflow to the engine and decrease its performance. Problems with drive-ability, such as sudden starts or stalling, should be checked at an autobody shop. If the check engine light comes on while traveling, drivers should pull over safely and check the owner’s manual. In some cases, an alert indicates to stop driving the car immediately or risk further damage to the vehicle.
Motorists should check on all the fluid levels that keep the car running efficiently, such as the brake, coolant, engine oil, and power steering fluids. A motorist should always make sure to use products that are recommended by auto manufacturers; this information is found in the owner’s manual.
Check All Lights
Drivers must check all interior and exterior lights, replacing any that are burned out. Using a soft cloth and non-abrasive spray to remove dirt and insects from lights will help drivers see better at night and also helps make the vehicle more visible. Additionally, windows and mirrors should be cleaned. Missing or damaged lights or mirrors are not only hazardous, they can lead to pricy traffic tickets as well.
A tire check should not be a seasonal task but more of a monthly job. Motorists should consider installing tires designed to better withstand higher temperatures during the summer months. Additionally, proper inflation should be checked; overinflated tires are more prone to blowouts, and underinflated tires are more likely to wear down and lose traction. It is important to look for holes, bulges, or cuts in the tires and make sure that there is a good tread on each. A good trick is to insert a quarter upside down into the tire grooves. If George Washington’s head is visible, the tread is too shallow.
Replace Worn Wipers
Replacing windshield wipers and wiper blades is a simple, important fix. Broken or worn wipers are essentially useless in the rain and can reduce visibility. To find out if wipers need replacing, run the hose over the windshield and engage the wipers. If it does not streak or clean the window effectively, replace the blades. Fill windshield washer fluid and test the nozzles to make sure that they are not clogged.
What is Included in a Summer Car Emergency Kit?
Even with a thorough auto inspection, it is impossible to predict when an emergency will strike. Whether it involves the weather, a car accident, or a breakdown, it is important to be prepared, especially during the long, hot days of summer. To maintain safety while waiting for assistance, always keep an emergency kit on board. Summer travel emergency kits should include the following:
- Basic first-aid supplies
- Flares or reflective triangles
- Jumper cables
- Non-perishable snacks
- Phone chargers
- Tire pressure gauge and sealant
- Travel tool kit
How Do I Stay Safe While Traveling in Summer?
There are steps to take to arrive at the destination safe and sound, including the following:
- Before setting out, a driver should inform someone of his or her travel plans in case an emergency occurs.
- Mobile mapping technology is not always infallible. Review the route ahead of time and become familiar with the exits and highways on the route.
- Fatigue impacts driving, much like drugs and alcohol. It slows a driver’s reaction time and affects coordination. Share driving duties with a partner or pull over when feeling drowsy.
- Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of serious and fatal car accidents. Commit to using a phone hands-free and resist eating, grooming, or turning to talk to passengers.
- During the warmer months, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise to fatal levels in a matter of minutes, even with the windows rolled down. Never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle. Be sure to lock the doors and put keys somewhere safe to keep kids from gaining access to a parked car.
Summer Car Breakdowns and Accidents
Heavy traffic, road construction, and pedestrians all increase the risk of summer car accidents. Even while performing safety precautions, others traveling may not be as conscientious. If a driver is injured in a crash caused by a distracted, inebriated, or careless driver, they should know help is available. A serious motor vehicle accident can mean pain and suffering, emotional trauma, daunting medical bills, and costly auto repairs. Debilitating injuries only add to stress if a driver is disabled to the point where they can no longer work and earn a paycheck.
In the state of Pennsylvania, injured victims are required to prove a defendant caused their accident, either deliberately or through negligence. If a victim played any part in causing the crash, they can only recover a portion of the total damages based on the percentage of liability. While personal injury claims for car accidents are complex, with the aid of an experienced car accident lawyer, one can prove their claim and recover compensation.
Bucks County Car Accident Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Have the Experience and Determination Necessary to Help Car Accident Victims
If you were hurt in a car accident or lost a family member in a collision, one of our Bucks County car accident lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. can help. Our lawyers are dedicated to achieving the results that our clients deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 888-999-1962 or complete our online form. Located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania.