Important Summertime Car Questions Answered

Taking care of your car is as vital as taking care of your home. And car maintenance changes as the seasons do. It is vital to know how to take care of your vehicle during different times of the year. There are many myths when it comes to car maintenance and you need to know the truth behind them in order to make sure that your vehicle is taken care of the right way.

Here is a look at some important questions about taking care of cars during the summertime – you know, when the sun is roasting you when you go outside.

Does turning on the heat help cool an engine?

The answer to this question is yes. The excess heat enters the heater core and decreases the temperature of the coolant. Keep in mind that the interior of your car will rapidly overheat and you could even become so uncomfortable that you could put yourself in a driver impairment situation. If you need to frequently use the heater to cool down the temperature of your coolant, there is something wrong with your cooling system or your vehicle has been seriously overloaded.

You need to get this fix since driving your car would be a miserable experience.

Do you require thicker oil during the summertime?

According to car manufacturers, the answer is yes, but you should not make it too thick. Most of the new cars today should be filled with 5W-20 which is quite thin. Car manufacturers list 10W-30 as the acceptable oil for temperatures in the summer. With thinner oil, there is less friction inside the engine which gives you better fuel economy.

You should check your owner’s manual which is basically your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation for viscosity. If you have an older car, it may require thicker oil, but remember that it is still not a sensational idea to just pour 5 quarts of 40-weight in simply because it is the summer.

What is the appropriate coolant, or coolant mixture for the summer?

Many people say that plain water is best during the summer. If you are going this route, you are running your car without any antiwear and anticorrosion additives in the cooling system and you are increasing your chances of having issues. Whether it is the summer or the winter, you should use a 50-50 mix of water and fresh coolant. This is true regardless of what type or brand of coolant the manufacturer of your car recommends. Make sure that you read the label – some coolants that are available in stores are already pre-diluted to 50-50.

Summer DrivingIs it possible to save a little money by using older tires with less tread in the summertime?

The less tread there is on a tire, the poorer its performance will be on wet roads. If you are fine with staying home on rainy days, you will not have a problem. But what happens if you are driving and it begins to rain? You are taking a massive risk.

Otherwise and moreover, you should start considering new tires at 4/32” tread and at 2/32”, this is an absolute necessity since this is when the wear bars begin to show. For inclement weather, 4/32” is the absolute minimum depth for tire tread.

Is it better to buy gasoline in the morning when it is cooler?

This is wrong. It actually does not matter when you buy gasoline. The temperature shift that occurs daily in underground fuel tanks is generally negligible. This is because they are underground and the soil remains at the same temperature at all times. Even when it is a furnace above ground.

Do you really use less fuel when you drive with the AC on than when you do with the windows open?

There is a small bit of truth in this – depending on the speed (which is explained right below). When you open the windows when you are on the freeway the aerodynamic drag measurably increases on your car. On the other hand, the air conditioning system consumes some horsepower. You cannot really change the aerodynamics of your car; so if the weather is not terribly hot, it does make some sense to drive with the windows open if you want to risk the chance of insects or debris flying in your car, the loud sound, and the decreased comfort of not artificially controlling the temperature inside the cabin.

The cut off or threshold is about 40 mph. If you are going slower than 40 mph, it makes sense for you to drive with your windows down since operating your A/C or air compressor consumes some power as already stated and since your car is not moving that fast it is not producing that much power so it consumes more power to operate the A/C. If your car is moving faster than 40, your car is producing more power so operating your A/C is not too much of a burden on your car.

But many people who want to be comfortable and probably even safer, would rather use the A/C no matter what the speed of the vehicle is.

What should you know about driving in the summer?

Many people know about winterizing their vehicles, but no one really thinks about how to “summer-ize” them. Summertime comes with vacations and road trips and summer traveling. However, long drives, especially during the extremely high temperatures of the summer season, can be rough on your car. It is paramount to know how to take care of your vehicle before you hit the road and make your way to your favorite summer destinations.

The sweltering temperatures can result in a burning hot steering wheel, malfunctioning AC, or even a dead car battery. These problems can make your summer a bummer, so if you are planning to have an awesome summer, make sure that you maintain your car properly for the hot season.